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Amazing, Jeanne! I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to take note of your how you use a notation to help you plan your pantsed stories, so when I run into more pantsers, I can give them a long, long list of tried and true techniques that help. 🙂
Hi, Red! I don’t mind at all if you want to make note of this “method” for other pantsers.
With the stories I’m writing now (I’m writing 5 stories for a short-story collection), for some reason, I’m not writing it straight through in a linear fashion. I’m writing episodes all out of order. So, I’ll leave a few lines between what I’ve last written and the next thing I’m writing, if that next scene is something that’s going to come much later in the story. Then, between the two scenes I’ll type in red or blue or purple something like [Something needs to happen between the last scene and the next scene]. And then I highlight it in yellow.
Also, with these stories, I’m writing the rough draft and instead of taking the time of thinking of alternatives to words like “smiled,” “nodded,” “gulped” etc., I put those overused words in, highlight them in yellow and follow them with this note [think of a better way to show what (character’s name) is thinking or feeling or how she’s reacting]. That way my train of thought doesn’t get interrupted.
I know that’s going to make my editing take longer, but I figure that’s what editing’s for. That’s where I’m going to shape up my story and make it better.
Now, after several years of writing, and after several workshops on self editing, it’s coming together and I’m what works for me.