Writer In Motion: Week 2, My Process

The Prompt:

Authors, you may use this image in any way that moves you: setting, colors, subject, the emotion it evokes.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

My Process

So before I jump into my first draft I want to talk a bit about my process. The term pantser and plotter are relatively new to me but like the Harry Potter houses if I were to pick one I’m definitely a plotter. In a perfect world, it would be that simple but to me, it’s not quite that cut and dry.

While I love to outline and plan as much as possible, sometimes too much, I try to not let it constrain me creatively. I always start my writing using the outline but as I’m entering into each scene or character I let them speak to me as I write. For my initial writing, it’s usually really close to the outline but I’ve found that the deeper I get into character the more I stray from the plan. In my current work in progress this has led to some interesting plot twists I never foresaw in the beginning and as you’d imagine has caused me to circle back and revise the outline.

So in short, I’m a Plotting Pantser!


So all those words to say first I started this prompt by creating an outline of my thoughts from this image. I start by taking notes and then evolve that into a target plot. Here is what it was:

  • Google search the image and read some articles on the backstory.
  • What do I see in the picture?
    • The field of stars appears to be fake as no real constellations are discernable.
    • Since it’s the west coast it appears to be sunset based on the position of the boat.
    • The boat appears to be in a tidal area of the shore that water can be seen flowing through. Unsure if it’s a Tidal River or not.
    • The boat is quite weathered and has clearly been there a long time.
    • Huge chunks of the starboard side near the stern of the ship appear to be missing.
    • There is a massive gouge above the bridge.
    • Some of the trim on the bow is ripped partially off.
    • There appears to be broken glass on the top of the bridge. Some of those pointy things, what was their purpose and the same for that glass?
  • Brainstorm questions that could lead to a story.
    • How’d it get there?
    • What happened to the crew?
    • Why is it still there now and no one claimed or tried to fix it?
    • How’d it get damaged?
  • Story ideas
    • Drunk captain dies at the wheel navigating a storm.
    • The ship runs aground in a fog.
    • Attacked by something while at sea. By what?
    • The boat drifted somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be and was attacked. By who?
    • Atlanteans!
  • Favorite Idea: Atlanteans
    • The ship enters into protected waters near Atlantis
    • The guard on duty, cool name, is woken up by someone (an important person) to show human a lesson.
    • A guard approaches the ship and in the process is hit with the anchor.
    • Overreacts and aims to teach humans a lesson. Launches an attack on the boat. Throws a bunch of stuff at them, pulls crew under and kills them, rips parts off the boat.
    • Uses sea creatures to deliver the boat to the human shore as a warning.

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