Life in The Jungle: My Creative Process (Part # 2)

Edwin StarkLast time in this blog we discussed the way I got ideas for my books and short tales.

Let’s say that one of these ideas has managed to survive its soul-crushing pass through my Fabled Writer’s Trunk and it’s about time it was written… Right? Right?!?! WRONG!!!

First, the tale must be PLOTTED. There’s a long time discussion amongst writers about if you must carefully PLOT every single detail in your books, making you a PLOTTER… or whether you can write it as you go along, flying by seat of your pants through the creative process of writing a book…. Thereby the term PANTSER.

Well, I’m 97 percent a PLOTTER and about 1 percent a PANTSER (about the remaining 2%… DON’T ASK… it involves a very embarrassing incident with mug of ale and a rabid Chihuahua dog). This means I’m totally anal retentive with all plot details, characters and so. I don’t even write a single word down.

Generally, if you ever came to visit me to this rainforest, you’d see me walking up and down the street, raking leaves, cutting wood or trimming my hedges in a very absorbed mood. Shhh; do not disturb: Genius At Work. When I’m performing my daily chores, every single minutiae of my books is being churned one of a time:

 

(How does it begin; who is doing what and more important: Who is doing what to whom? Et cetera, Et cetera… what happens next? What? Who? When? And so forth.)

 

This way, my mind carefully builds a very long thread with the basic plot of every single one of my stories. And here comes the kicker: I don’t even make notes during the entire process. Every thing is committed to my memory.

However, the 1% reserved to being a pantser is just an open door that helps me to wedge an unexpected section of text into one of my books. Case in Example: During the final chapters of my first book, A.I. Rebellion there is a brief car chase, but the point of view (POV) wasn’t working at all; the way in which the two vehicles involved interacted was great, but it was seen only from the viewpoint of Gloria Jefferson, one of the major characters. It wasn’t working. But all of a sudden, I recalled I focused on where this scene happened; Libertador Avenue, a major feature in Caracas, the city where I lived for nearly thirty years before being forced to move into this jungle.

During daylight, you’d find it boring and uninteresting; but during the nighttime, it becomes an open den of prostitution, pimps and drugs. Since the chase happens during the night, why didn’t I let a witness to the running events tell them? Hmmmm…

So Pepe LaGuardia was born; a cross-dressing male prostitute who is standing in the right time and right place so he can witness this rather complicated car chase. And it worked.

Well, that dubious distinction of being 97% a Plotter and 2% a Pantser has just been properly clarified. Stay tuned for subsequent parts of this series.

 

Edwin Stark

Signing Off

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