Ooooo *shivers* Do it again!

I just had one of those moments. I love those moments. Back in the day, the reason I never finished anything was because I tried to plot things out. I might get a ways into it. I tried to get a feel for it and then write an outline, but I was convinced I couldn't go forward without an outline. What that meant is I never finished anything. 40,000 words on a manuscript and then three days working on an outline and I threw everything out.

I don't outline any more. Now I write by the seat of my pants. The pants/plots paradigm (p3) is a well established discussion on the tubes and I'm not going to tell you to do things one way or the other. Find what works for you and then do it. I will say, however, if you're not finishing anything you start, you may want to try an alternate writing method.

No, the reason the topic comes up today is because I had one of my favorite moments as a pantser. You're writing your chapter and you know where you're going and you just have to craft it to have some kind of competent literary end to the chapter. And then you get to the end of the chapter and your fingers keep typing and all of a sudden something you never considered before has appeared on the page. And not only is it good, it's awesome. The reader inside you screams, HOLY SHIT THAT'S AWESOME! Let's call that tickling the reader.

I suspect (but have no evidence and no inclination to prove my claim) that pantsing allows you to tickle the reader a little bit more because you're engaging in a higher degree of discovery along the way (I won't say you don't know where that's going because such a claim is insulting and usually only made by plotters that don't know better or bad writers who have no actual substance to their work). *deep breath* It's a matter of degree. I may not know the exact route I'm taking, but I know where I'm going and when I need to show up. Sometimes, though, you see that there's a road you thought closed that is actually open so you take it to see where it goes. And that's when your reader gets tickled.

That's a good moment. I like me the tickles.