Sunday, February 20, 2011

The theory and practice of pantsing in 1000 easy lessons

It's been a long month. I have no clue why I back-to-back my workshops, except maybe I think better that way. Dust has piled up on my bookshelves, and laundry in the hall. My kids have turned into trolls, barricaded behind a wall of empty soda cans and old plates.

My daughter says she knows when the workshops are ending, because chocolate chip pancakes show up for breakfast and the sink is clear. She also says she knows I'm gearing up for another consultation, because the freezer is full of frozen dinners. She's probably right. I'm a couple of days behind.

I feel a little lost and depressed, headed back to work. They just got another shipment of Wordfind magazines, and my boss put out fresh pencils. I was doing a jumble the other day, and after staring at it for five minutes, I still couldn't figure out what it meant. Maybe I need to get a different job. The job happiness quotient at work seems directly tied to how well you do wordfind--in the proper way, circling each individual letter so you can figure out the jumble at the end.

I got some sleep last night--a rarity nowadays, and woke up with a black moment. Maybe I'm just older or something, but image doesn't mean as much. I used to have this dream--way back when, that one day I'd write a hardback book and show it to my parents so they could finally, after all this time, be proud of me. We all dance to the tune of childhood issues. My version of conscious want and subconscious motivation--like Janet says, combined as one goal.

But, the whole hardbound reference book thing isn't me. It'd be nice and all, and something spiffy for my bookshelves, but most NY, writer's digest, and self-pubbed craft books carry a fairly decent price tag--hell even the lecture packets from some people cost upwards of twenty bucks. And I'm not trying to gouge anyone. I was thinking...maybe a 6.99 kindle/e-book? At a 70 percent royalty rate, that gives me five bucks, which I think is a fair price.

Nice cover--no clue, but something nice. I like the blueprint paper on the Story Structure Architect. And I lean toward abstracts--which doesn't make sense since I also like the idea of fire in the darkness, although it'll probably end up being blue.

I also like the way I can update things, and maybe continue the series--do a few multimedia tie-ins on my needs-to-be-updated site. All I had to do was let go of what I wanted and think about "why" I wanted it.

I probably just needed to talk to people who could see core events as I saw it, and for that I'm grateful to everyone in my Transformational Arc and Running in the Dark workshops. It's hard to think "movement" when everyone else is thinking "crazy".

I hope to have everything formatted--all the bits and pieces and connecting chapters--soon. And get it out there in an accessible way. Lol, I always told Deanna I was writing the Theory and Practice of Pantsing in a 1000 easy lessons.


Kathryn said...

The e-book concept is a great idea. And you're absolutely not crazy. But I do share what a high it is to find that there are other people who think like I do. Running in the Dark was just what I needed. I made the mistake of taking the Editpalooza workshop the month before, and there were points where I felt like it was trying to stuff me into a box that just didn't fit, with it's total emphasis on plot.

If you want a beta, or a proofreader when you reach that point, drop me a note. You can find me on SavvyAuthors if you don't still have my email.

Another thought - this is actually a concept you could market to hard core role-playing gamers too. That's basically a matter of creating a character, then seeing where it takes you, with input from the gamemaster who's creating the setting. Not everyone does it in this much depth, but there are a enough people who do like to do that that you could probably sell copies on some sites like

Voirey Linger said...

Make sure you let me know when the ebook is available. I'm anxious to read it. :)

Lizzy said...


I'm anxiously awaiting your ebook, so get off your duff of being low and get cracking. ;) I'd paid more than $6.99 for the book. I like my books, esp. writing books, the old fashion kind where I can highlight and make notes, but for your book, I'll blow the dust off my little Ipod Touch Kindle and get it.

Your two workshops were turning points for me in my understanding of character development. The core event concept resonated with me, not least of all because you generously took the trouble to ensure that I, a lowly workshop attendee, understood it as it applies to my own WIP.
I recently read Syd Green's screening writing book and I think he talked about a circle of meaning that touched the characters' background, and I smiled and thought, Ah! He's talking about core event, except he's being too vague I would have missed it had I not just finished Jodi's workshops.


Thank you for sharing that. I really, really wanted to take Editpalooza but held off because I suspected I had not found a way to see how my story could be improved organically, and I was afraid to get caught up in a whirl of expert editors and lose what little grasp/glimmer I had of my story. Jodi helped me unfurl my vision to sharper focus.

For me anyhow, plot follows characterization in my writing process. I can maneuver plot easily once I understand my characters well. Sighed. If only I could understand them well before I start my first draft, that would be great, but they always come out through the first throw-away draft.

jodi said...

Kathryn--you're a godsend. Thank you. I'll take you up on that offer and I till have your address.

The gamer idea is a good one. :) Two of my children do closed betas (can you tell I live in a world of party quests, rebirths and virtual money cards?)

lol, Voirey. You know you're getting a copy. :) And a thank you.

Lizzy! Thanks for dropping by. A lot of the hardback issue was also my bookshelves. I hate to say I'm a corner turner and scribbler, but my books are full of notes. I know enough people to figure out how to create a paperback, but...maybe later. You're right. I need to get it done first.:)

I think maybe your first draft is simply part of your process. :) An extended period of acquaintance?


Hailey Edwards said...

Add me to the list that is anxious for a dose of Jodi-rificness at my fingertips.

I still swing by and read your old posts when I'm feeling lost. It reminds me I'm perfectly fine the way I am. That my process is my own, and as long as it works...who am I to complain? LOL

jodi said...

lol,, you knew I was going to hit you up for a cover, right? Something nice? No clue. In exchange for a copy, maybe? :)

Eva Gale said...

e! Please?

I download stuff like crack.

Eva Gale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hailey Edwards said...

Done. Just let me know what you want and when. :D

jodi said...

lol, at the low low price of a couple of bucks, Eva--you can definitely download Running in the Dark (if I don't send it to you first)

And thank you, Hailey. :)

Laura said...

Jodi - I loved your workshop and I would definitely buy the book. You gave me some great ideas for my WIP that I hadn't even thought about. Now get on it! :D