Friday, July 17, 2015

From Pantser to Plotter

Relentless Writer's EXCLUSIVE and world wide web debut!

Here for your viewing pleasure is my first ever SlideShare! :D
Click through the slides and delve deep into the wild world of plotting!
(You can maximize the slide display to up the wow factor ;)


In gratitude,
Marissa Campbell xo


Forthcoming debut novel by Marissa Campbell
Coming from St. Martin's Press, September 8, 2015!

Anglo-Saxon England. Ambition, lust, and betrayal weave their fateful threads through Avelynn’s destiny. Against the political back drop of Alfred the Great’s war against the Vikings, AVELYNN brings the Dark Ages to light and illuminates one woman’s struggle to fight for what she believes in.


  1. Great advice, and I LOVE the slideshow format! Good stuff!

    1. Thanks, Liv! Gotta keep it fresh and try new formats and styles, lol. Thinking outside the box. :)
      In gratitude,
      Marissa xo

  2. Every time I see one of these, I frankly wonder if the writer will stay writing. I'm a pantser, and there's virtually nothing out there to help us when we run into problems. Everything -- every book, every blog post, every workshop -- is framed to assume you're outlining. I kept running into problems when I wrote novels, and I didn't really understand why. I keep looking for answers, and nothing. It came to a head on the last one I wrote, and I tried finally switching to outlining.

    Contrary to what all the outliners said, it actually made the problems a LOT worse. As in, it was a ten car pile up, and it was to a plane crash that took out an entire city scale. I knew how to write, and I didn't understand why it was so bad. Another writer offered to read it and tell me what was wrong, but I declined--at the time because I felt like wanted to figure it out myself. But I think I was beginning to understand that there was a different problem, and it was caused by the other writers.

    And I came to discover that it was all that outlining advice. Things like plot points or know your ending that get recommended for pantsers are outlining techniques. Even structure. Any time I tried one of them, it added additional complication on top of what was already naturally in the story, causing it to twist into a distorted mess. Every time I looked for more help, I found more outlining advice that twisted the story worse. I ended up having to toss ALL the how-to advice I'd learned over the years, and just go with my gut.

    With all the tortured efforts from outlining advice getting in the way, it had taken 5 years to write the story, and try to fix the problems, resulting in an unsubmittable mess.

    With no outlining advice in the way, a great story and six months, and it was done.

    There are only two real books for pantsers (as written by a panster, not by an outliner) in existence now: Writing into the Dark and Story Trumps Structure. I'm doing a third, due out in August, called Writer's Guide for Pantsers: Your're Not Crazy, which covers what the other two didn't. If you're a pantser, don't believe it when an outliner tells you how to write. They're always going to frame pantsing from the perspective of outlining because that's what they understand.

    1. Linda, that is a really good point!

      Most writers know intrinsically what the outliners label as plot points and pinch points etc., and have them organically in their works. And regardless which modality you subscribe to, when you're stuck, it's key to find a resource that resonates. I love the title of your forthcoming book!

      In gratitude,

  3. Thank you for sharing, it's really helped me...
    Very nice article...

  4. I like this article, can add knowledge to every person who read it, thanks