Review of Storytelling for Pantsters

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of writing the next Great American Novel. Certainly cliche for a blogger, I know.

We all have dreams, right?

But the thought of actually writing a long work of fiction that is coherent and meaningful hits me between the eyes with fear and leaves me with writer’s block. It’s almost easier to keep it as a dream rather than begin the actual work of crafting my first novel. Blogging is much easier, simpler in so many ways.

Having read all of the “greats” in college–Hemingway, Steinbeck, Woolf, etc–I am intimidated by even attempting to take on a novel as my next project. How do I top that?

If you feel similarly, then definitely check out Annalisa Parent’s new book, Storytelling for Pantsters. In Parent’s book, she not only addresses these common fears of first time authors but also lays out tips to master the craft of writing in a simple and engaging manner. Whether you have an MFA or are new to the field of writing, you will find something of interest in Parent’s book.

For writers like me who tend to “fly by the seat of their pants” when it comes to writing, Storytelling for Pantsters is valuable in that Parent not only accepts that some of us might not outline all of our writing, but she also teaches us how to use this as part of the whole writing process. In the book, she illustrates how writing doesn’t have to be a linear process, but can instead be circular in fashion, beginning with a free write and later drafts further refining the work.

Even with a degree in English, I have often been unclear on the elements of a work of fiction, such as plot pacing and the balance of action vs. character development. Parent provides aspiring authors with clear direction on these points as well as other tips on making a manuscript worthy of publishing. Her long-time experience with both teaching and publishing lends itself to a focus on the information that new authors need, along with the ability to clearly explain these elements of the craft.

Too, she also gives the reader encouragement to get past their fears. This is such a big part of being unable to write, and yet it is often ignored by those who teach writing.

Easy to read and yet full of important information, Annalisa Parent’s new book, Storytelling for Pantsters, is highly recommended for any author who would like to improve and work on their writing process.


Purchase Storytelling for Pantsters

Storytelling for Pantsers

Annalisa Parent

Laurel Elite Books

ISBN Number: 1947482017

Geek Love

Original Photo by  PMaz on
Original Photo by PMaz on

I’ll admit it. I’m not your typical romance-loving girl. In fact, I generally hate that genre. You could call me a nerd girl, one who is in love with science fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. It hasn’t exactly made me “one of the girls,” but geek guys generally enjoy a woman who can jump into the Kirk vs. Picard argument or discuss the intricacies of the themes presented in Battlestar Galactica.

My dad can certainly take credit for making me what I am today. Even as a kid, I remember hearing “Solyent Green is people!” For that, he received Solyent Green crackers for this past Father’s Day. Too he took us to see all of the latest scifi flicks, including Star Trek I and Star Wars. My growing love of Star Trek: The Next Generation renewed his interest in scifi at that time, and so we began reading all of the Star Trek novels from all generations. We later began to attend scifi conventions and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie that we found there.

My love of science fiction didn’t end when I left home, however. I joined a group of geeks to travel down to Texas to see the latest Star Wars film in one of the few digital theatres of the time. I went on to meet other geeks who introduced me to Photoshop, hobby rockets, and gaming. Being with the geek guys was fun and comfortable.

It was later that I met my husband, the ultimate in geeks. He has been immersed in the geek/computer culture since the 1980’s. While I was studying German and English literature, he was building and growing a BBS. Computers, the internet, virtual worlds, and gaming became his life and passion.

Loving a geek guy is a bit different than your regular husband. Becoming married can be something like an intensive foreign language course. I became immersed in the world of LAN parties, computer partitions, and cyberpunk. Later came Second Life and now, Ingress. Our marriage can be a bit odd at times—whether it’s hearing about the locations of different “portals” in his augmented reality or the ongoing fight of Dr. Who vs. Star Trek, our conversations often have a bit of a Matrix feel.

However, our love remains the same, and our devotion is solid. We may not agree on the best scifi television show—it’s Star Trek—but we love each other. And in a world like ours, that can often be a greater victory than defeating the Death Star.