20 February 2012


When writing, do you outline, use a storyboard or, as someone put it to me the other day, do you write by the seat of your pants?  A Panster, in other words.  There is, of course, no right or wrong way, it just comes down to what works for you.

I, myself, work in some sort of confused muddle for eighteen to twenty-four months in the hope that I will eventually emerge into the sunlight.  It’s like trying to find my way through a maze.

I’ve never used a storyboard, but I do spend a lot of time drawing diagrams over the backs of my manuscript pages, on serviettes while I’m in a restaurant or coffee shop, and in a notebook I carry with me.  I don’t know whether this pastime helps me sort out my plot problems, but I think it has a therapeutic benefit.  I liken it to watering one’s garden.  It has a calming effect when I can’t solve the mystery I’m writing!  I do create a time line for my characters so I know where they were at the time of the murder(s).  And I keep a table of all my characters’ details.  It doesn’t do to have someone’s eyes change color between page 2 and 22.

What about you?  What are your methods?


  1. That has made me smile.. I am a panster..

    I start almost always with one line that has come to me - usually dialogue - then off I go.

    Would have no idea where to start with a storyboard but I do sometimes.. rarely - make a note of something I have heard that catches my attention..xx

    1. Rosalind, thank you for your comment.

      I'm glad to see that I am not the only panster on the planet. I wonder how many more there are!