Monday, June 13, 2011


Serendipity is when someone finds something that they weren't expecting. When I was thinking of what to blog about this word jumped into my head and suddenly it dawned on me that my friends and I were talking about this at brunch yesterday.

Of the five of us, all but one of us are pantsers. A pantser is a writer, who writes as he/she goes. No plotting for us pantsers. Even in school when a teacher wanted an outline, I'd have to write my story/report first and then go back and write the outline. For a pantser, outlines can be the stuff of nightmares. Even if I have been chewing on the idea for awhile and wrote an outline based on that vision, I'd be kidding myself if I thought my story would follow the outline.

For a pantser, part of the fun is being surprised by what your character does or where the story takes you. I know plotters say their characters/stories still surprise them, but they still are able to follow their outline. I like the fact that I don't often know how the story will end.

In fact, I rarely know how the story will unfold when I first put down my character(s) name. When I wrote Under the Y Bridge for The Y Bridge Anthology the Y-City Writers put together a couple of years ago, I had intended to write a ghost story. What transpired after I put Amelia's name on the paper was quite different. I ended up with a wedding story, nary a ghost in sight. In spite of my desire to write a ghost story, I was indeed surprised by what unfolded. This story took me outside of my box of writing dark pieces. Occassionally, I still manage to write something that totally surprises me outside of my genre.

Then again... People are quite surprised that I write as dark as I do. So, maybe it's serendipitous.

Me at the Crooksville Art Walk on Saturday, June 11.

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