OMG, the current work in progress is a complete pantser frolic. Or at least as pantser as I can get these days. While I have a rough outline sketched out on paper and a length limit in mind (which means I’m watching word count as a part of my pacing), the rest of it—characterization, names, settings—is completely freeform and random except for occasional notes scribbled down when traveling. I don’t know if it’s because this particular story demands this style or if I just needed a break from the tight structure of Netwalk’s Children. Either option is possible.
I don’t even have a solid name for this story yet. It started out as Welcome to Klone Lane, and then part of it became Welcome to the Mudhole Gathering, and now it’s operating under the working title of Klone’s Folly. I wrote part of it as first person, part as third, and spent a day rewriting the third to put it back into first. Originally the setting was going to be pretty much mundane with intrusions from the supernatural, but now it’s in a world where the presence of elementals and cryptids are accepted…and where such beings might be an ill-kept national defense secret. How does it work? I dunno yet. Right now the back brain wants to go on an absolute, total romp of a story and I’m cruising along for the ride.
I needed this. To be honest, I have some stories planned that are just this sort of thing—a total pantser rip—and others, like Children, where I’m working with complex themes and structure.
So I’m having fun with the adventures of Reeni Dutta, special education teacher on the run from a possessive blood-sucking elemental ex-husband and his coterie, tutoring an unruly group of cryptid kids who may be getting trained to be weapons in a mysterious war of mages—and aren’t what they seem, either. I call it Jane Eyre meets Frankenstein’s Monster.
But oh, the rewrite and beta reading is gonna be tough.