Updates, Edits, and Pantsing

Witty snippets and funny photos are at bare minimum today, gang. My brain’s been focusing on too many other things and the blog was put on hold for a few days. I know the rule of thumb is to make sure a blog has regular content 2 – 3 times a week, but let’s face it: when I don’t feel like it, I’m not going to force it. Still, I do want to give everyone an update on what I’m up to.

Every day, I get closer to finishing my first urban fantasy, THE FOURTH CHANNEL. The editing process has been agonizing and more challenging than I ever thought it would be, but it’s fantastic and I’m excited about the results. Tom is an unrelenting copy editor. We share the chapters in Google Documents, which easily allows editor(s) to highlight sections of the text and attach comments that appear in the sidebar. I can make my own changes and reply to the comments, or just mark it resolved. So far it’s been very handy.

I made it small on purpose so you couldn’t read too much. (No spoilers!) Basically, our intrepid necromancer is talking about how she bought a bunch of ugly lingerie to be used as new punishment fodder for her knives. (A drawer of silk and lace and potpourri isn’t the preferred habitat for aspiring weapons of mass destruction.)

At any rate, I’m about waist-deep in the novel now, working through the Second Act. I’m glad to revisit text that I haven’t looked at in a few months, and the story is getting more and more refreshed in my head. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Human sacrifice. Talking knives. Rock and roll. Just another day in the life of an American necromancer.

While I’m working on finishing up THE FOURTH CHANNEL, I’m coming to terms with being a pantser.

Every time I see the word “pantser” I envision jerking someone’s pants down to their ankles and stuffing them in a locker. Maybe it’s just me? But that’s not even the right word, is it? De-pantsing? Un-pantsing? Screw it. I’ll just switch to wedgies.

Like a leopard who tries to change their spots or a left-handed person who tries to change to right-handedness, I tried to turn myself into a plotter.

Not so great, actually.

After giving myself a few days to recuperate from that traumatic experience, I’m embracing my own process and delving into work on a new novel idea. Thanks to the use of paper & pen, it’s going faster than ever. This eclectic medium has given me the freedom to write quickly and just take my characters wherever seems good at the time. When I try this on the computer, I get way too bogged down with word structure and flow… and the process takes about five times as long. I keep nice journals on hand (discount bookstore bins FTW!), but even those give me a fear of permanence. I’m using crappy old steno pads instead and it’s going swimmingly.

I just feel sorry for my crit partners who will be forced to read some of it.

Published by Jen Kirchner

I write funny things. JenKirchner.com

5 thoughts on “Updates, Edits, and Pantsing

    1. Though it looks like a lot of work (and it is, don’t get me wrong) it’s really fun. I plan to talk more about it in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to hear more about your WIP!


  1. Great post! And I believe the yanking of pants is simply called ‘pantsing’ lol. The editing process is terrible isn’t it, but how much we can learn from it (and have less editing to do in the next book!).

    I was just reading yesterday about how writing with actual pen and paper can drastically change the urge to edit while writing. Seeing how its working for you, maybe I’ll give it a try with my WIP 🙂


    1. So you know it’s called “pantsing”, eh? I’ll remember not to turn my back to you, just to be safe. LOL

      Let me know how the pen and paper goes for you! So far, I’m thinking I might write all my first drafts this way.


  2. I love the story idea!

    And the pic of the guy with his pants hanging down cracked me up! I’m mostly pantser too. I see the value of an outline and I do use them…I just usually end up writing them as I write the story. I might start out writing down everything I can think of about the story into an outline, character profile, scene cards, etc but I can’t finish until I start writing the story itself. Then, I still feel perfectly free to deviate from the original ideas at anytime (well…sometimes I fight with myself LOL).

    I just recently discovered Google docs too, when I joined a crit group. I love them! So easy to add comments and corrections.


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