Morris Gleitzman - Planner or Pantser

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Morris Gleitzman - Planner or Pantser?

Interesting post about a talk session with Morris Gleitzman on the Alpha Reader blog of Danielle Binks:


Now, on the mechanics of how he writes. Penni Russon asked if he considers himself a 'planner' or a 'pantser' (fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writing) Morris really loved this term, and called himself "a planner with pantser moments." He always starts by meeting  characters in his imagination, and will often spend 1-2 years 'getting to know them' until his relationship with them develops, just like a real friendship (interesting to note that he often has 2-3 story ideas circling his head at any given time, but he *writes* them one at a time). He did mention that the needs of the novelist VS needs of the characters can often be at loggerheads. As a writer who becomes 'friends' with his protagonists (and even says the collective 'us' when talking about them) he would love nothing more than for them to have a problem-free life, free of heartache and struggle. But really, as a novelist he needs to put those characters through hardships and write those BIG problems. It's the push-pull of being safe, or writing a good story.

•    He plans by writing 2-4 pages of chapter notes, which covers the character's emotional and physical journey (he picked up this planning habit from scriptwriting, where every minute of screen-time costs lots of $$$ so every scene has to be vital). He will often re-write and draft these chapter notes 10 times.

•    Gleitzman likes to think of his chapter plans as a road-map; that in the actual writing process he might go 'off-road', meander down a pretty side-street or take a shortcut, but if he ever gets lost he can refer to those notes and know where he was always meant to be to get back on track and retrace his steps. But he also noted that "some people are just pantsers from day-one" and it's okay that not all people are planners. But he did make a valid point that whereas he writes about three drafts, the pantser authors he knows can write up to 11 drafts.



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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on August 27, 2012 9:39 AM.

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