Plot Holes or Pot Holes

I am what is called a “pantser” in the writing world. Most good writers are “plotters.” Being a pantser roughly translates to the fact that I sit down to write with just the barest of ideas for a story. Now, this is not something that I recommend for any writer or writer-to-be. Because of my reliance on my intuition and the unconscious side of myself, I typically get away with this approach to writing.

As the story unfolds, I find a thread emerging that I guess I could say is the main highway for my story. Every story has a starting point and an end point destination. In a relatively short time at the keyboard, I get an idea of my destination. However, I don’t have a clue about how I am going to get there. Still, that end destination is in my mind and it will show up in the story with subtle hints, and diversions that are encountered along the way.

Plotting a story – an example of a 24 chapter story.

A story’s plot is like a twisty, windy highway filled with potholes. Should a story simply begin and make a beeline for the destination, the story would be either very short or very boring. We need diversions along the way to add interest. Preferably, the diversions should cause some tension in the reader, and the characters in the story. Think of a flat tire or a pot hole in the highway that forces the story to suspend the story, briefly, for a stop to get some repairs. The bigger the pot hole, the more tension in a story, and the more interesting a story becomes for a reader.

Now, one has to be very careful with these pot holes which often call on the author to take a detour. Should the author get too deep into a detour, the chances of getting back on track with the story is more and more difficult. Pot holes are meant to add complexity to a story, not diversions from the story. Forcing a story back on track often leaves plot holes which only disorient the reader.

So how does this relate to Naturist Fiction? Well, too often the story takes a side trip to wander through naturist philosophy, far from the story line. Such diversions don’t add to the story. Naturist philosophy, if overtly present, has to be embedded in the story. A good example of this is found in Will Forest’s book, Coed Naked Philosophy. Naturist philosophy lived is found in Paul Z. Walker’s books. And typically, naturist philosophy is implied in my work wherein there is nudity with one or more characters in the story, and that nudity is just a state of dress [undress] as the story unfolds, a story that holds a positive acceptance of nudity.

Now, there is a bit of advice that I want to offer. Be a plotter, not a pantser until you are a master of story writing … or unless you want to find yourself rewrite the story over and over again until the story eliminates unnecessary plot and pot holes, a situation that I too often find myself stuck in. Learn from my mistakes.

8 thoughts on “Plot Holes or Pot Holes”

  1. My friend,

    You write like I do most of the time. I have a start and a probable finish, and a faint clue how to get there, with a few waterholes along the way.

  2. This is a very interesting read, Robert. I feel like I am too much of a pantser, myself – and who wants to rely on the seat of his *pants*, after all, when writing naturist fiction? Ha! But I’ve taken some action lately to become a better plotter, and that is definitely helping. Thanks for the shout-out!

    1. I save my plotting for the first revision after flying by the seat of my non-existent pants during the first draft. I don’t know if I will ever become a plotter before starting a story, though it would definitely be a good idea.

  3. I try plotting. Then I prank my plot. I am therefore a plotting pantser (or prankster?). Maybe a pantsering plotter. Either way it amazes me when my mind divulges characters and dialogues that moments before never existed.

  4. As a reader of all your stories, it matters not to me which kind of writer you are; do what is best for you. I get my enjoyment from the stories themselves, and all are different. Please keep writing, and don’t get wound up over how it happens. I was going to write ‘don’t get your knickers in a twist’, but that would be inappropriate, twice over!

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