Are Pantsers Just Plotters in Disguise?

Don't most pantsers, like Steve said, have a rough outline in their head, even if it's not all meticulously laid out on paper?
The thing I'm intending to submit to the Angry Robot open door started as an opening - I had no idea where it went next and certainly no vision of an ending. I didn't get that until I was about 60-70k in.

The one I finished writing a few weeks back had an opening and an idea of an ending, but it all died in the middle for a while - then I did what anyone would do, and started a thread here on pantsing until I could get that discovery mechanism to do something useful and deliver an answer.

Having said that, surely the point is that if all you have is a vague couple of bullet-points in your head, you're a pantser. If you have the whole thing mapped out in fine detail, you're a plotter. Anything in between makes you a strange hybrid who gets to pick their own label.
 
Just to play devil's advocate... :D Don't most pantsers, like Steve said, have a rough outline in their head, even if it's not all meticulously laid out on paper? Or at least a rough idea of where your story is heading? Is there such a thing as true pantsing when it comes to writing a novel? (Perhaps for a short story...) Just a thought! Sorry, will go away now...

There are authors who claim to not know the ending when they set out, or to need 10,000 words or so to know what the story's really about, and all that. So I think that, yes, there is true pantsing of a sort. Just like there's true plotting, even if most plotters will end up amending the plot as they go.

If Ihe's point is we're all using the same techniques, just applying them with various degrees of deliberateness and at different parts of the process, then yes, I'd agree with that. I think those are really substantial differences though.
 
However, last night at writers group I was listening to a poem in Doric which used the word faen - it means fallen and I am now processing that idea and wondering if it might be how humans could view species of fae.

There's an Anglo-Saxon legend that the faery were the angels who refused to take sides in the War in Heaven.

In similar vein, the apocryphal text The Book of the Cave of Treasures uses the term Shêda, meaning "Fallen" to mean Satan or his angels, and I was struck by the similarity to the Gaelic Sidhe.
 
There's an Anglo-Saxon legend that the faery were the angels who refused to take sides in the War in Heaven.

In similar vein, the apocryphal text The Book of the Cave of Treasures uses the term Shêda, meaning "Fallen" to mean Satan or his angels, and I was struck by the similarity to the Gaelic Sidhe.
The Irish mythology was heavily rewritten by the monks - hence why the angels falling became such a prevalent theme :)

There is a good argument that the sidhe were the aboriginal people of Ireland
 
The Irish mythology was heavily rewritten by the monks - hence why the angels falling became such a prevalent theme :)

Oh, so the Sidhe were actually identified with fallen angels in (rewritten) Irish myth? I've never come across that. I was just struck by the coincidence in sound with the (Aramaic?) Shêda.
 
There's an Anglo-Saxon legend that the faery were the angels who refused to take sides in the War in Heaven.

In similar vein, the apocryphal text The Book of the Cave of Treasures uses the term Shêda, meaning "Fallen" to mean Satan or his angels, and I was struck by the similarity to the Gaelic Sidhe.

I would be very surprised if the etymology for a Gaelic word and a Syriac word were in any way related. Wikipedia says Sidhe derives from hill/mounds - not sure if they're right, but I'm pretty sure its not in any way related to Fallen.

I'd also add that while you can see where the monks have been at Irish mythology, you can also see the Indo-European roots of the Sidhe very clearly.
 
The writing consciousness is more meditation/subconscious whereas the editing process is fully conscious and analytical.

That's a great thought there. Writing is where the hallucinations occur. It the deep thinking and exploratory period for the mind to wander its own creation.

Then editing is where we try to reconstruct what our mind envisioned to something more generally palatable to the reader.
 
I would be very surprised if the etymology for a Gaelic word and a Syriac word were in any way related

So would I! I was just following on from Anya's faen/fae (likewise unrelated, I assume) with something similar that captured my imagination once upon a time.
 
So would I! I was just following on from Anya's faen/fae (likewise unrelated, I assume) with something similar that captured my imagination once upon a time.

Ah with you.

*quickly googles* Apparently the belief can be found in Scandinavia as well and some use the Book of Enoch as proof for the idea. Not quite sure how the latter works I'll admit. And by apparently I mean some website said it.
 
Oh, so the Sidhe were actually identified with fallen angels in (rewritten) Irish myth? I've never come across that. I was just struck by the coincidence in sound with the (Aramaic?) Shêda.
I'm not sure if it was that defined per se but the only stories preserved were those the historians could mix with their Christian message. So, for instance, Ossian was shown recounting his tale to St Patrick. Which meant Celtic mythology (certainly the Irish anyhow) has a Christian agenda attached to it with the sidhe generally represented as cast out to support that agenda - so there's certainly a fallen angels vibe going on there.

Looking further - it does seem that the sidhe ARE seen by many as representing fallen angels.

As to the Norse - there were a lot of raids etc in Ireland so perhaps language did bleed?
 
There's certainly a fair few historical names from the time period that are clearly Gaelic spellings of Norse names and vice versa but I'm not aware of there being many loanwords from either (far from a scholar on that subject though). Idea bleed though - I can imagine that. I've seen a few theories that Irish and Norse paganism influenced each other, although I find that one odd given time period. Gallic and Germanic paganism maybe.
 
There are certain parallels iirc - which also bleed into Arthurian literature. Bran's bowl might be one

The parallels between Irish myth and the Arthurian cycle are beyond numerous to the point where I sometimes wonder whether he's a predominantly Irish creation - I think the first examples of men called Artur in Britain were Irish settlers and you don't really see the Arthurian myths arise until after you get Irish settlement on the west coast. Or maybe its they got the stories from there and took them home and wove them into the Fenian cycle, that being the one with the most Arthurian similarities (although the Ulster cycle has its share). Or maybe its just a bunch of Celtic stories that survived a long time... either way, incredibly close. More similar than with the four branches of the Mabinogion for what my money is worth.

Irish/Celtic and Norse less so, although there's some good ones. Difficult to tell where you get them influencing each other and where you get common descent though.
 
The sidhe were the homes of the descendants of the Tuatha de Danann, the ancient rulers of Eire. When they were defeated by the Milesians, they agreed to give the world we know to them, and themselves went to the Otherworld. The sidhe were not only homes, but also gateways to the Otherworld, sometimes called "Tír na nÓg", or the "Land of Youth".

Every Samhain, the veil separating this world and the Otherworld is at its thinnest. During this time, denizens can break through into this world, often causing mischief. People would light candles (pumpkins?), and/or leave goodies out for them, to appease the mischief ones, that they would leave their homes alone. (Trick or Treat, anyone?)

-As I learned it.
 
The sidhe were the homes of the descendants of the Tuatha de Danann, the ancient rulers of Eire. When they were defeated by the Milesians, they agreed to give the world we know to them, and themselves went to the Otherworld. The sidhe were not only homes, but also gateways to the Otherworld, sometimes called "Tír na nÓg", or the "Land of Youth".

Every Samhain, the veil separating this world and the Otherworld is at its thinnest. During this time, denizens can break through into this world, often causing mischief. People would light candles (pumpkins?), and/or leave goodies out for them, to appease the mischief ones, that they would leave their homes alone. (Trick or Treat, anyone?)

-As I learned it.
There are various variations of the theme. The sidhe (shee) are the Tuatha de Danann who are confined to the undeworld is a common understanding. The Hallow'een influence is usually seen about the wider spirit world, not just the sidhe (turnips traditionally here but they stink and are hard to carve so we normally cheat these days and use pumpkins) and the sidhe can break through any time (although there are times when the veil weakens) using the thinning places, like barrows (Earthern mounds which house the sidhe world.)

In many places people still regularly leave milk out to appease the fairies, few people in Ireland would cut down a blackthorn tree - roads have been built to go around them and farmers usually leave them standing in fields), etc etc.

For a really good, modern, take on the Sidhe legends Peadar O'Guilin's The Call is fantastic.
 
Goodness, we have a few mythology experts IN-DA-HOUSE! But as interesting as I find this, the tangent has gone over the horizon. Reel it in peeps :D.
 
Dangit! The ebook is $2 more than the paperback!!
Hot dang. It's worth it, though... (and I rarely say that about expensive ebooks)

Ihe - sorry, we'll be good! although it did occur to me that perhaps this crosses into pansters and plotters in that sometimes how much knowledge we already have may affect how much worldbuilding we do.

For example, if I write anything Irish mythology related I have a shape of what is acceptable already in my mind. So when I'm writing with no plot or reason, my subconscious quickly warns me if I'm going off piste. Similarly, in Abendau, the world I've spent years devising. But a new world may be harder for me to do that kind of writing in because I don't know the rules just so innately.

Also, perhaps of relevance to this is how we think. There are two ways to make decisions: Optimising, ie using the information we can collate, and spending time working through that, or heuristic, which is our gut instinct. If you think of the mother taking her child to the doctor and insisting they are sick even when nothing overt is found. Doctors would tell you - and there is research to support it - that the mother's instinct is normally more reliable than diagnostic tests. Because they know so much about the child, often of it unconsciously, and have the alarm bell when something runs contrary to that.

So, what I'm wondering is - does having a strong innate knowledge of the world you are writing about - either through knowing it well or by already held knowledge - make it easier to write without as much planning? Just a thought.
 
There's an Anglo-Saxon legend that the faery were the angels who refused to take sides in the War in Heaven.

In similar vein, the apocryphal text The Book of the Cave of Treasures uses the term Shêda, meaning "Fallen" to mean Satan or his angels, and I was struck by the similarity to the Gaelic Sidhe.

I was considering that as well. That the fae in the book are descended from the fallen they escaped Sodom through a portal and that is why their realm is toxic. It is not yet a fully developed thought but I can add it to the stories without major change.
 
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