This week on the blog tour, I am please to host Jennifer Don as she has a conversation with her muse.
How do you do it? That’s the question I found myself looking at as I entered my writing space to contemplate the answer. No sooner had I readied myself and prepped my working area, did my muse interrupt my thoughts. His bombardment of questions couldn’t be deflected any further and the whole process happened as follows:
Muse: Are you a Pantser?
Me: What do you mean by Pantser?
Muse: Do you fly by the seat of your pants like a lifelong chancer?
Me: Perhaps on occasion I do, but I can’t say the lifestyle is for me.
Muse: Or are you a Plotter?
Me: What is this, a game of questions or something? What do you mean by a Plotter?
Muse: A writer who needs controlled order.
Me: Can’t I be both Sir?
Muse: Both, why would you want to be both?
Me: Well why not? Is there any rule out there that states I need to be one or the other? If there is one such rule then I have yet to cross that on my journey. Until such a time where it states that I need to be one or the other I will stick to being both.
Muse: Say you had to choose, which would it be?
Me: You’re not letting this go are you? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. I am both. I see no reason as to why I can’t be. I mean there are times where I’ll take the risk. I’ll run the gauntlet with the hounds of hell on my tail as I weave through the trees just to reach my target. Other times, I’ll sit and map aspects out.
Muse: Hmm, I see. So this gauntlet, do you run it often?
Me: You really like your questions don’t you?
Muse: *Nods head and grins*
Me: *Sigh* Do I run the gauntlet often? I can’t say that I do. You know that. You’ve been with me every step of the way, you know how I work.
Muse: This is true, but I am not your audience…. *he turns and nods* … they are.
Me: Oh right!
Muse: So tell them, don’t tell me.
Me: Could you repeat the question then please.
Muse: Certainly… *grins wildly* Do you run the gauntlet often? This gauntlet being the flying by the seat of your pants action that most will know as being a Pantser.
Me: Hmm… I don’t run is as often as I would like, but then I run it more times than I would care to remember. Does that help?
Muse: *Shakes head and laughs* Help? No, that doesn’t help. During the time you have spent running the gauntlet, what methods or problems have you crossed that others might be interested in hearing?
Me: Urgh! I ran, I played, and I wrote and panicked. I feared the shadows that flooded the rooms I entered and found everything rather daunting. Yet, I was free. I had no restraints in which I had to follow. I allowed my characters the freedom to react as they pleased. It made for an interesting time, I tell you. I was merely the vessel of their actions and their thoughts. I was the puppet in the process.
Muse: And how did this affect your progress?
Me: Well, I found that not knowing where I was going often led to periods of being stressed and worried. I felt lost in the consuming darkness as the hounds of hell waited right around the corner. Waiting for me to mess up so that they would tear me to pieces then spit me back out and have me start again. I never did reach that stage though.
Muse: How so?
Me: Because during those times, I did my best to remain focused on the task at hand as well as remembering to take regular intervals to break the momentum up.
Muse: So the constant threat of being a hound of hells dinner had you on your toes long enough to keep writing, but not long enough so as to avoid periods of rest?
Me: That’s right.
Muse: How interesting. Can we go back to being a Plotter now?
Me: Do I have any choice?
Muse: Well, actually… No. I decide when and where we go with this. *Grins*
Muse: *Clears throat* so, we already know you’re a bit of a Pantser. You’ve already admitted to running around like a fool with pants on your head. *laughs*
Me: Hey! I said no such thing.
Muse: Gauntlet, shmaunlet. I get the picture. We all know 2 and 2 make 5, don’t try and tell us otherwise.
Me: 2 and 2 make 4 not 5.
Muse: 4, 5 same thing.
Me: *rolls eyes*
Muse: Right where were we?
Muse: That’s right. So plotting your stories, your structures, how has this helped you?
Me: Helped? I don’t know exactly. I’m still running from the shadows and lurking monsters at this moment in time. Do you see what you do to me?
Muse: What I do to you? I don’t make you take up the mighty pen and battle your way through those worlds. I merely give you guidance and inspiration. Don’t turn this around on me just because you’re running around with pants on your head. Just answer the question please. Your audience awaits *tilts head to the crowd*
Me: Great! Good way to make me feel guilty!
Muse: Does it work?
Muse: Humph! Question… answer please. Now if you don’t mind.
Me: What if I don’t want do? What will you do about it?
Muse: Oh I can think of a few things.
Me: Such as?
Muse: I’ll take Sati away, and Ashran… and
Me: What no! You can’t! I need them!
Muse: Oh, but I can. Now answer that question or they go!
Me: *Sulks* If I must then, but be warned, after this you and me – we have some serious talking to do!
Muse: Yea right, later okay now answer.
Muse: Yes, yes. We’ve established that part already so get on with it!
Me: *glares* you’re really bossy do you know that?
Me: Oh all right! I’m still new to this so stop being so hard on me! Plotting, yes I’ve been able to plot my way through a novel and now planning another for November. It’s rather difficult if you are not used to it, much like me. But I found it very beneficial in bringing some direction to the plot lines whilst allowing characters to run at their own pace and have the life they want. At the same time, it helps me to keep everything in perspective. By this I mean that planning out the structure allows me to see where I need to be and how long I have until I get there. Fair enough, there are times where you need to extend the timeline to fit more in as your characters do like to go walk about. You know everything in their time. They’ll get there when they get there, as they like to remind me. This is your doing I’m sure of it.
Muse: Me? No they have their own say on matters. I merely push you in the direction you should be going. I can’t be held responsible for their actions. I mean, honestly? Would I ever have you write something only to have your characters become rebels and give you hassle so that you have to extend your structure even further?
Me: Yes! You really would do that!
Me: Regardless, to the above statements, I stand by my original answer. I am both or neither. I will run with what occurs at the time of writing. Whether my mind says just go for it, or whether I feel inclined to map out certain points or periods that need to be achieved. After all, I am me and I will work the way I do. To change it up when the need suits doesn’t bother me. I’ll happily try something new, as long as it appears to be beneficial to what it is that I am undertaking.
Muse: So you admit to running around with pants on your head, flapping your arms and sounding like a headless chicken?
Me: No, I most certainly do not!
Muse: I dis-agree. You have all but admitted to being a Pantser. Why can you not just admit to wearing pants on your head while you do it? I’m sure everyone out there would love to know the truth… *snickers*
Me: Perhaps if I was to ever do that, then I might admit it. But the fact of the matter here is that I do not. Now shall I tell everyone what you are doing right now? This very moment in time you are…
Muse: NO! Don’t! Okay I’ll stop with the pants thing. Sheesh! Trust me to be landed with someone like you!
Me: Someone like me huh? Well the feeling is currently mutual. First you threaten me to answer your questions with the removal of my much loved characters. Second, you accuse me of doing something that I did not and have not ever done. And now, you make it sound like I’m trouble!
Muse: But you are trouble. You NEVER listen!
Me: Never Listen? I beg to differ. Have I not listened to you every step of the way through whatever this is?
Muse: With difficulty yes you have.
Me: See, I’m not so bad now am I?
Muse: I guess not.
Me: So what were we doing exactly?
Muse: We… There are no we here. You were telling your readers of your writing process and how you go about doing it. That was my intention the whole time. Now if you would like to ask them any questions, then please do so.
As you can see, I have one difficult muse!
I am glad that is now over with, as he has gone and left me. Imagine it, being given the third degree in questions just so you can explain how you work to others. Oh wait, we aren’t done yet. Please forgive me for sounding off. I hope you have enjoyed your time reading over this interview of sorts. I decided, well we decided it would be a better way to present the information to you than simply telling you as it is. Life is no fun unless you make it fun. I’ve had fun writing this and I hope it has come across that way to you the reader.
How do you do it? How do you turn your creative mind around into something more fluent? Do you plan ahead and map out all the ideas that are running around or do you…. Run around with pants on your head like my muse thinks I do and just go with the flow? Your thoughts are very welcome. Feel free to leave your comments here or pass them along to me via the contact details. I hope to hear from you all soon.
About Jennifer Don
Jennifer spent many years without daring to lift a pen, without writing a word that wasn’t forced. But 2008 arrived and with it, her love of writing. She began with poetry which quenched her thirst to begin with but soon that wasn’t enough to satisfy her. 2011 arrived with a dream to write her first novel – Awakening, which is on-going. November saw her attempt her first NaNoWriMo, and so Timber Varden was born, with the bulk of it being written within that month. Now she finds herself aiming to re-write that draft and turn it into her first published novel.
While she aims to work through the edits needed, updates on her progress can be found on here -http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferDon
To find out more with regards to her other projects, then check out her blog here - http://thoughtsgowild.blogspot.co.uk/
And should you wish to follow her on Twitter, or ask her any questions please see here -https://twitter.com/#!/Voice_Of_Spirit
You can also add and follow Jennifer over on Goodreads. You will find that link here – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6155054.Jennifer_Don
Jennifer will be more than happy to answer any questions you have for her. You can contact her at any of the links posted above. Or email her at email@example.com
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