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    • This is the most insightful explanation for how showrunners completely nail a series finale—or muck it up like JJ Abrams’ Lost.

      There are ideas here that could prove useful for writers like @Felicity and that can help you in evaluating a book author’s ability to pull off a trilogy or a 10-book saga.

    • I liked writer/teacher Barbara Webb's response to that thread. Essentially, she argues that there's far too much emphasis being placed on pantsing vs. plotting, which are ways to generate a first draft; when much of writing takes place in revision*.

      But let's not attribute flaws and strengths in the books or the shows to the tired division of how people write their first drafts. Because once a book is on the shelf or a show is on the air, it's way past the first draft stage. The flaws that exist have made it through an entire creative process with lots of people giving feedback and plenty of chances to fix what things the creators care to fix.

      There are definitely differences between pantsing and plotting -- I've written two novel manuscripts, one in each way, so I'm very clear on this -- but they aren't likely visible in the finished work.

      In my experience other differences in drafting method are just as huge. (My pantsed book I wrote longhand on paper, my plotted book I typed into Scrivener. This change affected the first draft to a drastic extent in ways I truly hadn't expected, and was unpredictable in ways the pantsplot shift simply wasn't.)

      *There are writers who don't operate this way. It can take them all day to write 200 words, but those 200 words never get touched again. They are EXCEEDINGLY RARE. All writing process generalizations leave someone's valid process out!