Monday, August 12, 2013

Pantser Dust Bunnies

The worst thing about being a pantser is that when I run out of momentum, I have no plan to fall back on. So I just...stop. 

But the best thing about being a pantser is all the weird little files I later find on my computer that, even if I knew what they were about once, I don't remember now. 

Like this: 

When I wake up, I don’t know where I am.
That’s not so unusual, is it?
It’s a hospital. I could have picked it without even opening my eyes. The cold air smells of antiseptic and nothing else.
I open my eyes anyway, but there isn’t much to see. My feet sticking out from the blanket. My arms lying beside me. A drip in the back of my left hand; the tape puckers my skin into wrinkles. Sticky things on my chest and a plastic thing clipped on my left index finger send information to the monitor beside the bed. It flickers with numbers.
The bed has rails.
Curtains drawn around me.
Sagging ceiling panels.
Definitely a hospital.
I don’t remember what happened. Nothing hurts, and I can wiggle my toes.
I also don’t remember who I am.  

YA? Probably. Anything else? No idea. But I enjoy speculating. 

It's not a plot bunny exactly. It's more of a dust bunny, collecting in the dark corners under the bed. And there are a whole lot more where that came from. 

Cohesive? Hell no. But they pique my interest when I look back at them, and one day they might be useful for something. 

I also found this one: 

The first meteor hit at 7 a.m. It sounded like thunder as it came in, then the explosion. Like a bomb. Windows shattered, car alarms wailed, and then the meteor hit the ground.
The world shook.
The city burned.
By noon there had been at least four more strikes. 

And I don't remember what was going on here, except the story wasn't about the meteor strike at all. It was about what happened after. But the specifics escape me. 

Something like this, I guess.

And this one, which turned out to be semi-autobiographical. Except for the part where the narrator is a boy. 

I have tutoring every Wednesday, because I suck at maths. I hate maths. I hate it enough in class, but I really hate it in tutoring because it’s just me and Mr. Bagent and I’ve got his undivided attention. His breath smells like chewing gum and cigarettes (like he thinks the first one will cover up the second) and every time we go over exactly the same things because somehow they all fell out of my head during the week.

The questions I hate the most are the ones about trains going in opposite directions at different speeds, so where will they meet? I don’t even know what the point of that is. Who needs to know this stuff? And then, when tutoring is over and I’m getting the late train home, I always wonder if the driver is checking his watch when another train shudders past ours. Yep, 4.47 precisely, just like Mr. Bagent predicted. 

Pantsing is fun. Not always productive, but fun. 

Do you have half-started bits and pieces lying around the place? 
Feel free to share :) 


  1. Such fun to discover notes like that.

    I rarely write out scenes, but I do have a file of first lines, including this one:

    Before we got home we had to stop three times to pull traffic cones (and a mailbox) out from under the wheel.

    1. Oh, I love it! Not only do I wonder what the hell happened last night, I wish I'd been there! :)

  2. These pieces are lovely! Such good dust bunnies! I am very similar; I have hundreds of little glimpses into something hidden on my laptop. Sometimes I go back to them when I want to recapture the inspiration of pantsing. :)

    1. I love pantsing so, so much...

      And I'm glad I'm not the only person who does this :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...