Perfect Books

26 Aug

Every once in a while, you read a book and miss the point….well, the writer point, not the reader point.


This past week I reread Jenny Crusie’s BET ME. Someone had given it to me because it was a two book deal with WELCOME TO TEMPTATION. My copy of WTT had conveniently gone missing during a friend’s visit so I’d never gotten around to reading it. Last week, I’d written all day and thought I’d just take a short break and pick up BET ME for just a few chapters.


No. Such. Thing.


Of course I enjoyed it again as a reader, but as a writer I was amazed at just how perfectly put together this book is. Yeah, you may or may not enjoy it (I’m betting you will because it’s a great read) but break that book down and you’ll be amazed. Or, not so much. Crusie has a reputation (that I’ve been lucky enough to see first hand at the Low Country Masters Class) of working her books to perfection. Plotting, charting, character sketches, collages, amazingness…I’ve tried, honestly I have. I have tried all those things…and more, but no matter what I just can’t seem to drop this Pantser habit. I’m an addict.


But, it does make me stop and wonder, even with edits involved, can I write a perfectly put together story? Or, is it a plotter thing, only those who see everything in before they start can succeed here?


Goodness I hope not!


I was talking to Ms. Gwen Hayes the other day about plotting/pantsing and how I keep thinking the next book will be the one I can plot. I mean, I give it a little whirl each time. Each time it goes no where and I have to just start writing…then we’re trucking. But, styles change and I don’t want to say “I’ll never be a plotter” because there’s a good chance that one day — even if it’s only for one book — I may be.


And so, as I hold my book together in my head and make Notes To Self about layering and adding, I think: Yes, yes a pantser can write a perfectly formed book…and one day I’ll be one of those pantsers.


I’d love to hear about some of your favorite perfectly formed books! Because, really, who wouldn’t want to learn from the best?

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