One of the many inaccurate, uninformed statements in this thread asserts that there are no writing books on pantsing (I hate that term). Wrong. One of the best writing books out there is Steven James's "Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules." Steven is a best-selling author of FBI thrillers, and he has no use for outlines, character inventories, three-act structures, etc. Rather, he is all about telling a story (he has a Master's Degree in Storytelling) and the narrative process. He calls his method "organic writing," but it's what people mean by the term "pantsing." Tension, desire, crisis, escalation, struggle, discovery are the techniques he teaches in this book, not plot templates and formulas.
I strongly recommend this book (I've read it twice), as well as his book on editing: "Troubleshooting Your Novel." Both books helped me become a better writer, and I hope to study with Steven this summer at ThrillerFest. I do not plot or outline either, so his writing method really resonates with me.
I have read all Steven's FBI thrillers, and they are real page turners. He sure does know how to tell a gripping story, and that's what he teaches in "Story Trumps Structure."
Last edited by wdarcy
on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Wagner's 'Das Rheingold'" (Oxford 1993). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 1995.
"Elements of Sonata Theory" co-authored with James Hepokoski(Oxford 2006). Winner of the Society for Music Theory's Wallace Berry Award, 2008.