Website Woes / Writing Process

So, I found out yesterday that this website was spotted with ads. I assume it’s been that way for years. Every visitor I’ve had here since day one (who doesn’t use adblockers) has been bombarded with random garbage without my say-so.

I’m a little horrified.

That problem has been fixed.

On to less embarrassing things. I’m going to ramble about my writing process.

Brandon Sanderson and other authors like to sort writers into two categories. Architect versus Gardener. Plotter versus Pantser.

Several books in and I’m not sure which one I am.

The Architect/Plotter is the type to plan out their stories meticulously. Outlines, character arcs, chapter-by-chapter synopsis, series arcs, hooks and pinches and acts and so on and so forth. They make a skeleton for their novel, then fill in the flesh.

I cannot write like that. If I know exactly what will come next in the story, I will get bored and rush myself to finish.

For a while I thought I was a Gardener/Pantser. Just start writing, plant the ‘seeds,’ see where it goes, right? Stephen King is a notable author who uses this method. The problem is, while I have no trouble with my motivation when Gardening, the end result varies. I recently finished an eighty-thousand word manuscript about goblins, and I don’t think it is salvageable. It’s not the first.

Each book I’ve finished has been somewhere in the middle of Gardening and Architect-ing. I think most authors work somewhere in that middle space, but I’m still trying to figure out what works for me.

Through the Lichgate was a Gardener’s plot until I was about eighty pages in. I always had the next two chapters planned. Once Dunstan showed up, I plotted out the rest of the book in rough strokes, and then took each member of the Drama Club and made them worthy of being the main character.

So then I could write Illusion of Grandeur. That book was even more of a Gardening book. I always had the next couple of chapters planned. Pierre’s arc was planned from the start, but I didn’t know how I would get there.

The third book in the Drama Club Series (cover reveal coming soon) was different. I started with an inciting incident, and knew I had three different plot points I wanted to hit. I think that has worked out for me really well, and I hope you will too!

Devil Game was a Gardening book until about Chapter 6. Then I planned out a two-book series. Burnout shortened Devil Game down to one book. I generally had the next 5-6 chapters outlined as I was writing.

Right now I have two fresh manuscripts I’m working on. I’m trying out two different Plotting styles to see what happens. Maybe I’ll find myself a new style!

Now for the horrors borne of my writing process.

I have a 20k word Middle Grade superhero novel that I ‘pantsed.’ It is a failure of a novel, due to the stakes and conflict not matching the tone of the story and world.

I pantsed a 40k word Steampunk fantasy, Golem Project. It is also a failure, due to the meandering plot and the lack of sensical conflict. The setting and text are sound, at least.

I pantsed (you see a theme here) an 80k word Goblin War Epic… only I decided near the beginning, with no thought to consequences, that one of my characters was a Pacifist. He was the main character. He ruined the book.

And those are just the ones I finished after I’d published my first book. The dumpster pile of unfinished or old manuscripts could, if printed out, fill a… well, a moderate-sized desk drawer. That’s pretty impressive, right?

I dearly loved some of these stories that have gone to pot, but my motivation breaks me when I think about fixing them. It’s a mess.

Hence, my experimenting with my writing process.

Unless my new writing styles end up summoning the Tome of the Architect, Cursed Font of Never-Ending Worldbuilding, you will see one or two books from me in the next year.

My next post will be a cover reveal. I promise this time.

See you around,

-Kyle Adams

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