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Plotter or Panster? The joy of a fight scene. My writing journey part four

July 14, 2017

Plotter or Panster? And the joy of a fight scene. My writing journey part four

A bit of a ramble…


Whether you are a plotter minutely breaking down every scene and every emotional twist of the knife…

…or if you are a pantser freely writing and flowing in whatever direction your characters tell you THEY want to go in, going with the flow, feeling the vibe…

…at some point you need a destination.


Which mean building to an ending.

Which means layering info as you go… hard to do unless you plot out every little detail.

I work half and half.  Plotter and pantser.

I write crime/mystery stories couched in scifi or fantasy… which means leaving clues along the way.

I might have mentioned before that I nut out the general direction and character arc. Have a theme (maybe) or a message (possibly) I do try to have the (A) story and (B) story before I start. A lot of the time I don’t have the ending in mind until I start writing… and then about half way through… BANG. the end comes to me.

At which point I go back to my plotted notes and rework the last section to lead into my ending.

BUT I only use a loose note for each chapter.

“Toni and mate find clue.”

“Mich finds body”

“Tracey learns story from Nana.”


The really interesting part is that after I finish that draft I go back to the start and find all the points I can add in clues, hints and teasers. I live for revisions. This is where the fun layering of clues comes in.

When I know I need to get to Z from A but find out C leads to F via Q I get the giggles.

When I realise, in my panster style, I have already layered two or three clues, I feel like a hero fighting my way to the end of a gang of badguys.

But what happens in your plotter/pantser writing style if you get stuck…


…at worst possible moment



Throw in a fight.

I love a good action scene. My CPs and beta readers will all swear to my need for action. Big emotional scene?… end it by kicking someones ass, or making someone laugh, or my favorite… big space battle. When I read friends’ work… my main note is “more action”, “action scene here”, “I want a big fight here,” “kick… his… ass…”

Of course, context is good… I mean, it needs to make sense within your story.

But there is nothing more satisfying than a big knock down, brawling, punch-on to break up a scene or jump the plot forward.

Character gets shot… *gulp*


The story arc changes… it spurs on the writing… and off you go again.

The build up can be intensely enjoyable too… (should they? will they? can they?) Training scenes are fun and allow for great plot development in a character’s emotional arc.

And you know… fight scenes are just fun.

And then… there is the cliff hanger. Don’t ya just love doing that to your readers?



Others in my series

First Draft



Short and Sweet

Do or do not



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  1. Excellent post, Laurie. To prevent not having a destination I write the last three lines first. Then I take about 90,000 words to get there.

    • Oooooo i love that idea John!
      A destination is fabulous. Usually the last paragraph comes to me fully formed about half way through. And i rarley change it! 😆

  2. Thanks for sharing your process Laurie. It was entertaining as well as informative 🙂

    • Lol i think it is just me rambling in the midst of a big edit! Haha but if it helps anyone then that is awesome too! 😆

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. First Draft: My writing journey part three | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  2. Research: my writing journey part two | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  3. Querying: my writing journey part one | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  4. Short and Sweet: My writer journey part five | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  5. Do or do not – My writer journey part six | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  6. The importance of reading – My writer journey part seven | Rambles, writing and amusing musings
  7. My Writer Journey – part eight | Rambles, writing and amusing musings

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