The Daily Journal, Tuesday, February 26

In today’s Journal

▪ Update on PWW
▪ Just got a note
▪ Topic: “Pantsers” vs. “Plodders”
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

The contributors for PWW seem to be getting excited and looking forward to posting on PWW.

Note that I may or may not always agree with what they post. But that isn’t the point. The site isn’t “my” website. I’m only the guy who set it up and started the ball rolling.

The site itself belongs to those who post on it.

I’ll also contribute, but only every now and then as a guest contributor.

The point is that you get the best information and advice from several different professional independent writers and publishers all in one place.

Be sure to tell your friends! (grin)

I just got a note from D2D. Soon they will be distributing books to Google Play. This is a major new market. When they do, I’ll “opt in” all of the books I have at D2D.

If you aren’t yet distributing through D2D, this would be a great time to start whether you have one short story or novel or dozens of publications.

Just sayin’.

Topic: “Pantsers” vs. “Plodders”

In an age during which society has seen fit to give more weight to perception than intention, pretty much anybody can be “offended” by pretty much anything, whether or not that anything was intended to be offensive.

Despite all that nonsense, until now I have held fast. You who are of a certain age know the deal: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Well, I’m saddened to report that for the first time in my 66 years, I am offended in the modern sense of the word.

This is a very touchy subject for me. Why?

Because the term “pantsers,” hereinafter referred to as “the P word,” is offensive as hell. Just as “plodder” would be if we went to that from “plotter.”

Of course, purveyors of the P word will tell you it simply means “those who write without first plotting and are therefore flying by the seat of their pants.”

But when they utter it, what they actually mean is “an unprofessional clod who flings stuff against a literary wall and hopes some of it will stick.” They’re just too condescending to say it aloud.

Either way, the P word isn’t who I am. But let me break it down for you:

1. It’s true that I write without plodding along, outlining and plotting in advance.

That’s because I trust the characters to tell the story. After all, they’re the ones who are living it, and I don’t feel the obsessive need to be a control freak.

2. It’s also true that I don’t pursue agents and traditional publishers for my novels, as it’s implied that “plotters” do.

That’s because my mental state is such that I don’t feel the obsessive need for acceptance and approval — validation — from some unlicensed practitioner (the agent) or a 20-something English major (the acquisitions editor).

3. Finally, it’s true that I write “fast.” My production is prolific when compared with most (or maybe all) traditionally published writers. In some circles, that makes me not only the P word but also a “hack.”

That’s because I believe in myself and my skills. I don’t need the acceptance, approval and validation of complete strangers. Shrug. I just write, publish, and write some more.

As for the “hack” label, that doesn’t bother me enough to call it “the H word.” Duh. I’m smart enough to know that the 60 hours it takes to write a novel is the same number of hours whether it’s spread over a year or two weeks.

Yeah, I know they spend a lot more time rewriting and revising ad nauseam, but that’s on them isn’t it? It isn’t my fault they don’t understand a writer is paid to write, not to rewrite.

Of course, many of those who use the P word will tell you, adamantly, that they don’t intend for the term to be dismissive and offensive. Maybe they don’t.

Just like those who, in their naturally laid-back Southern speech, first pronounced “Negro” as “Nigra,” which later morphed into a highly offensive word.

Some of them, too, didn’t mean for the term to be offensive. But it is. So much so that most of us can’t write it even in dialogue or in an instructive topic in blog posts. Like this one.

That’s exactly how offensive the P word is to me.

Incredibly, most of those who use the P word are writers, and most often they’re writers who are kowtowing to traditional publishers and their ravenous hunger for outlines and rewrites and their ridiculous rights-grabbing contracts.

Yet re their being “plotters,” (notice, I didn’t call them “plodders”) I don’t call those writers “control freaks” or “cowards.”

And re their eager willingness to sign horrid publishing contracts, I don’t call them “fools” either.

I don’t even call them “persons who have a psychologically unhealthy need for approval and acceptance and should maybe consider exploring that problem with a psychologist.”

Because I don’t care. Those writers have attained their version of “making it.”

Hey, I’m happy for them.

I assume they’re doing what they’re doing because it works for them. And nothing about their success directly affects my paycheck or my time off, so what do I care?

But I’ve attained my version of “making it” too.

I’ve done it by writing instead of outlining. By writing instead of rewriting. By writing every day instead of limiting myself to writing one or two novels per year. (Frankly, I think I’d kill myself.)

Even if I don’t care to slander my traditionally published “plotter” (plodder?) friends, some might ask why I don’t come up with another, non-derogatory term for what I do. You know, one to replace the P word.

The simple fact is, I don’t feel the need. The term already exists. And that term is “writer.”

Rolled out at 3:30 this morning. For various reasons (most of which were me making sure the topic above read exactly the way I wanted it to) I didn’t get to the novel until 10 a.m. Still, I hope for a good day of fiction writing.

Woohoo! Fifteen hundred words in the first one-hour session. I’m taking a forced break. (grin)

Back to the novel at 11:30.

Around 2 I’m calling it a day.

Talk with you again then.

Of Interest

See “Pacing and Spacing: The Power Of Artful Paragraphing” at

See “Hot, Warm, and Cold Viewpoint” at I don’t care either way for the terms, but the examples are good and her final two sentences are gold.

See “Sirchie’s KrimeSite Imager Detects Invisible Evidence” at

See “Writing Commercial Fiction – Superstars Recap 5” at

See “World Building (Part I)” at

Fiction Words: 3657
Nonfiction Words: 1160 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4817

Writing of Blackwell Ops 4: Melanie Sloan (novel)

Day 1…… 2363 words. Total words to date…… 2363
Day 2…… 2233 words. Total words to date…… 4596
Day 3…… 3353 words. Total words to date…… 7949
Day 4…… 1330 words. Total words to date…… 9279
Day 5…… 2263 words. Total words to date…… 11542
Day 6…… 3345 words. Total words to date…… 14887
Day 7…… 3657 words. Total words to date…… 18544

Total fiction words for the month……… 68754
Total fiction words for the year………… 152157
Total nonfiction words for the month… 23840
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 49350
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 201407

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 3
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 40
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Tuesday, February 26”

  1. I’ve had my books up on Google Play via PublishDrive (haven’t made much headway though), but this is nice, because I can pull that stream over to D2D to simplify. I, too, tell people I don’t like the pantser term… I don’t think it offends me quite as much as it does you. I use ‘discovery writer’, but ‘writer’ works as well

    • Yep. I use D2D for everything I write, and then I also distribute my large works through Smashwords for some overseas markets D2D doesn’t have yet. As for the P word, I don’t understand the need to differentiate.

  2. Yup. Seen that condescension towards writers who don’t outline far too often. The outliners think that we’re just haven’t figured out that outlining is the way to go, or that we’re outlining and not calling it one. I’ve personally had a story self-destruct because I tried outlining. Yet, I’ve run into many people who say that outlines don’t kill creativity. I remember one discussion with a writer on a message board, and I said that for me that they didn’t work. She informed me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. It’s head scratching why there’s such animosity to people who don’t outline. The only thing I can think of is that it really scares them.

    • I think that’s exactly it. They’re scared of something they don’t have the chutzpah to try. I couldn’t get on the writing boards. Everything I’ve heard about them, they seem more like kindling boards to me, places where flamers are welcome. I’d be hurting people. When someone tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about (especially about something that I say “works for me”) I just smile and say, “Where can I find all the novels you’ve published?” That usually shuts them right up.

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