A recent post over at Write1Sub1 ("Pantsing, Plotting, and Heinlein's Rules for Writing") has gotten me thinking about my writing process. No, not the graphical organizer I use with my students, although it's a good one and steers them toward better grades on their essays. What I'm pondering is, "How do I write?"

I remember being 100% pantser as a kid, churning out hundreds of pages about Coyote Cal and other heroes I'd invented, never knowing where those stories would take me. I would immerse myself into the worlds I'd created for hours at a time, experiencing every adventure right alongside my characters.

In my novel-writing endeavors these days, I still pants it probably 75% of the time — until I write myself into a corner. That’s when I start reconsidering the advantages of plotting and end up doing some informal outlining in order to reach any sort of grand finale.

But with Write1Sub1's weekly deadline, I find that I need to know what my short stories are generally about before I put pen to paper. Otherwise, there's a good chance they won't be ready for submission by the end of the week.

So while I prefer the adrenaline rush of making up stories as I go along, in contrast to the boredom of having every scene already planned out, I incorporate plotting methods to avoid the gut-gnawing stress of having no clue where my story is headed.

In related news, I've sent requested rewrites to Bards and Sages and Abandoned Towers and remain optimistic about both. Yesterday, three rejection letters greeted me in my inbox, so I resubmitted those stories to The Gloaming Magazine, Vestal Review, and the Cutting Block Press horror anthology. Best news of all: I remain on track with W1S1; six new stories submitted in six weeks.
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