Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas: Plotter or Pantser

Plotter or Pantser


Liberty Blake

          Thank you, Hannah, for allowing me to visit you and your friends. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a PDF copy Christmas Treats #1 (Santa’s Naughty List). Please leave your email addy in the comment. Winner will be chosen on Saturday at noon.

          Are you done with all your Christmas shopping, or are you still searching for presents for Tom, Dick, and Mary? (The people you forgot until now.) Or are you still looking for the perfect gift for the ones you love the most? Or did you start your Christmas shopping with the post Christmas sales, last December and January?

          The real question is, when do you begin thinking about Christmas?

          Noelle Barnes, the heroine of Christmas Spirit, owns a different Christmas outfit for every day of December. She decorates and dresses for the holiday beginning on Black Friday. She is a Christmas “plotter”. She doesn’t have to camp out all night at the shopping mall; she’s had her friend’s presents not just bought, but wrapped and hidden away for months.

          In writing we use many terms to describe a person’s work style.

          A “plotter” is someone who plots out the story before ever typing in Chapter One.  These are the people who have their list of gift recipients in hand on December 26th and begin buying as soon as possible. Many are done with their entire list by Valentine’s Day and only have to worry about new additions. They even have the stocking stuffers locked away in a closet.

          A “puzzler” is a writer who writes scenes as they occur to her. A Christmas “puzzler” is the canny shopper who purchases the gifts as she finds them throughout the year.

          A “pantser” is a writer who sits his seat in the chair, opens up the computer and starts writing. A Christmas “pantser” is in the store on Christmas Eve begging a clerk to please find some uncrushed bows.

          Then there is the “plotster”. The writer who begins writing and then after she know where she is going with the characters and story works out the plot. The Christmas “plotster” camps out at the shopping mall and still ends up searching for tape and uncrushed bows on Christmas Eve.

          I began my Christmas shopping career as a plotster. Then one year, early in my career, I had locked the majority of my shopping into my mother’s car and returned to the store to help my grandmother. My mother had also loaded the car and returned to continue shopping. (with 12 children there were a lot to buy for). When we were finally finished with our shopping we returned to the car to find it had been broken into and emptied. They even took the four gallons of milk and the groceries from the back seat!

          I had bought my gifts for everyone that night. All my sisters and brothers, my other relatives, and all my friends. I had saved the money for months and everything was gone in one night.

          I couldn’t buy anything else. The ride home was silent, except for the sniffling. I went home, pulled out my knitting needles, and managed to create an assortment of hats, mittens, scarves, etc. I worked at a frantic pace. I even took my knitting to school. I was ragged on a lot, but  everyone on my list received a handmade gift from me that year.

          The next year I followed my Aunt Phyllis’s example and started purchasing gifts in January. That lasted one year.

          Every year I make the resolution to be either a Christmas plotter, or at least a puzzler, but it never works out that way. Sometimes I can’t find the gifts I have hidden, more often the cost of day-to-day living prevents me from keeping my good intentions.

          There are years when I have made everyone an afghan or a quilt. There was one year when I decided to make everyone afghans in December. I used supersized hooks and made the afghans. I finished the last one on Christmas Eve.

          This year, I once again have decided to make everyone gifts. I decided to do that two weeks ago when my laptop decided to take a two week vacation. Wish me luck with getting everything done. Although Noelle is well organized, I am definitely an unrepentant pantser.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, may the spirit of joy and giving fill your heart and soul.

Noelle loves to spread Christmas Spirit, not just to friends, but to everyone she encounters. You can read more about Noelle in Christmas Treats #1, Santa’s Naughty List.:


Cross a Christmas phobic male with a caterer with Christmas bells on...can she ignite the Christmas spirit in him?


What the hell had just happened? One minute he was in heaven tasting the sweet nectar of the gods. The next the little vixen was running down the subway stairs. Harry pulled his wits together and gave chase. The turnstile wouldn’t budge. He was about to jump it when a voice said, “I wouldn’t if I was you. It’s a serious crime to steal from the Commonwealth. Buy a pass if you want to ride the train.”

Harry turned to find a T officer standing directly behind him. The man pointed a nightstick toward a row of machines. “You can get one over there in the Charlie machines.”

Card in hand, he was back at the turnstile in time to see the train Elle had jumped on pulling away from the station.

Damn. He didn’t know her last name.

You can get your copy of Christmas Treats #1 from Still Moments Publishing Erotic Escape ebooks.

You can always find Liberty at:

(Please leave your email address in your comment. Winner will receive a copy of Christmas Treats #1 (Santa’s Naughty List).