Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Are You a Plotter or a Pantser? by Joni Parker

 

In a thrilling mystery of intrigue, the Elfin Keeper of the Keys, Alex, uncovers a sinister plot to steal the gold set aside for the Golden Harvest by a rival group of Elves, who will stop at nothing to get it.

Title: The Epsilon Account: The Golden Harvest Series Book 1
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 388
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction Hybrid

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Thousands of years ago, Eledon was created for the Elves by their Mentors when they were forced to leave Earth. At least, that’s how the legend goes. In return, the Elves must pay them a tribute in gold, known as the Golden Harvest, every four thousand years. The Elfin Council of Elders appoints Lady Alexin (Alex) Dumwalt, the Keeper of the Keys, to manage the next payment, due 244 years from now. That is, until the Mentors show up unexpectedly and demand immediate payment of the Epsilon Account. Since the Harvest has never been called that, Alex suspects foul play and uncovers a sinister plot by the Star Elves, a rival clan from the Constellations, who want to steal the gold. To make matters worse, they’re willing to do anything to succeed to include murder. Can Alex stop them and save the Elfin gold before it’s too late?

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Are You a Plotter or a Pantser?

Writers have been divided into two main categories. Those who are plotters and others who are pantsers. The plotters outline their story, do character studies, set up the world where the story takes place (world building), and gather as many details as they can before they write. On the other hand, pantsers develop an idea for a story and start writing, making it up as they go along. In other words, they write by the seat of their pants—thus the name, pantsers. 

I’m a pantser. When I come up with an idea, I give it some time to develop in my head and then sit down at the computer and let it flow out. My main character, Alex, is my ‘muse,’ and she helps guide the story along. I can even put in chapter breaks, plot twists, and logical conclusions. When I look back on it, I’m amazed at the process, but it works for me. It does require me to edit more than plotters, but I really don’t mind it. 

Most of the articles about writing implore writers to be more methodical and advocate plotting methods. I’ve read countless articles on outlining, and I’ve even tried it, but it makes me cringe just to think about it. In fact, my editor for The Epsilon Account had me outline my book after I wrote it, and she edited it. I did it, but I wasn’t sure why. I had already completed the book, and I didn’t make any changes after I did the outline. She must have been a plotter. 

Most plotters don’t understand the pantser’s methodology, and most of us pantsers can’t explain it to them. Plotters think we must be like them deep down inside because no one could write under such chaotic circumstances. But we do. So, leave us alone.

 
About the Author

Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but moved to Japan when she was 8 so her father could become a professional golfer. Once he achieved his dream, Joni and her family returned to the U.S. and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. After high school, Joni served her country for 22 years in the Navy and another 7 years in federal civil service. She retired in Tucson, Arizona, devoting her time to writing, reading, and watching the sunrise.

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