Guest Post by Christine Rains about her Writing Process

I’m always interested in how other writers approach their writing, and today I’m honoured to have Christine Rains, author of The Dragonslayer, drop by to discuss her process.

The Dragonslayer CoverHi, my name is Christine and I’m a pantser.

I’m a little jealous of the plotters. I wish I could create an outline of a story and happily stick with it. It would improve the structure in the first draft, and I’m betting it would save me time.

I’ve tried. Oh how have I tried! But my stories refuse to be bound by an outline. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I love being a pantser.

A pantser is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants. Someone who lets the story grow organically.

Plotters have at least a general outline before they start writing. They know what their novel is going to be about before the first words are on the paper or screen.

I’ve been asked many times by plotters: how do you write a story if you don’t know what it’s going to be about?

Easy. I just write.

Usually I have an idea of a concept or character first. Most of the time, it’s a character since I do focus on characterisation a lot. Then I start writing and let that character tell me her/his story.

I place my trust in my characters to know what they’re doing.

I love the weird and wonderful places my characters take me, the twists and turns in the plots, and the surprise endings. Yes, every ending is a surprise.

I’m in love with writing first drafts. It’s probably why I have such a rough time revising.

Thankfully I don’t ramble a lot, and I rarely have odd plots that don’t go anywhere. Somehow, everything just seems to work out in the end.

Do I have any advice for pantsers? Delight in the first draft, but prepare yourself to be tough during the revisions.

Have faith in yourself and listen to your characters. They know what they’re doing.

My name is Christine. I’m a pantser and I love it.

The Dragonslayer (The 13th Floor series, #3):

On the rooftop of a neighboring building, dragonslayer Xanthus Ehrensvard fires at his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn’t know, but fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan’s face, and she believes it’s the story to make her career. Except he can’t let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.

Xan knows dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power, just like the Governor. But it’s no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they’re disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less.

After all, dragonslayers are no longer celebrated heroes but outlaws. Just as the dragons wish it. But this outlaw must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

Christine RainsChristine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She’s a member of S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published. You can buy The Dragonslayer via Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo and Goodreads.

If you found Christine’s post interesting, you might also like to take a look at some writer interviews.

8 thoughts on “Guest Post by Christine Rains about her Writing Process

  1. Letting the characters take the lead is a great way to think about pantsing. I’m the same, I can’t plot because I don’t know the characters beforehand to know what they’d do! Nice post, Christine.

  2. I found myself nodding a lot while reading this. I’m definitely a pantser, too, whenever I work on a novel. I’ve never been able to pull off an outline. Even when I think I know where the plot will go, my characters still manage to surprise me! (And it usually makes the book better. Darn characters, being smarter than me!) For comics, I seem to be more of a plotter, which is very odd for me, although I still have my pantsery moments…haha!

    • I’m the same with outlines – I’ve even outlined a couple of novels right down to a blow-by-blow description of what happens thoughout the story, but then I find I can’t write them. It’s like they’ve already been written and the characters now want to try something new. 😉

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