“If I’m left guessing, hopefully readers will be too” Guest Post: Author Clare Davidson

DebE —  August 1, 2013 — 4 Comments

Hey my peeps,

Those of you who have hung around here a while likely know that I tend towards being a pantster… or, more precisely, a plotster. I write by the seat of my pants with a vague notion of where I want the story to end up and how I want to get there.

Reaper's Rhythm CoverBut since there’s no one right way to do this thing, I thought I’d get fellow-writer Clare Davidson to let us in on her process. Clare writes Fantasy, and her new Urban/Paranormal Fantasy novel REAPER’S RHYTHM came out on Friday.

Take it away Clare…

To plot or not to plot…

Okay, I apologise for the terrible Hamlet pun. What can I say? I’m an English teacher.

Plotting and I have a love-hate relationship. It’s pretty similar to the relationship I have with my muse, actually. When I first started writing, I NEVER plotted. I was a true pantser. I wrote five books that way (one was hand written and therefore very short and one was actually a collection of short stories), none of which will EVER see the light of day.

The last one of those books was called Guardian. I loved it, but something just wasn’t right. So, I decided to re-write it and I took the plunge and did some plotting. Yup, after five books of refusing to do just that. My plot consisted of a collection of twelve bullet points, which was more plotting than I’d ever done before.

The words flew. Mostly. I treated the bullet points as a map: I had the waypoints, but the journey between each of those points was still unknown. For me, it was the perfect combination of pantsing and plotting.

With Reaper’s Rhythm, I bullet-pointed a few scenes in advance. It meant the writing process continued to feel organic, but I still had mini goals to work towards.

I have tried to do full plotting, where I write out a sentence for every single scene. However I find it kills the magic. I need my writing to have an element of spontaneity, so that I’m excited by what might come next. If I’m left guessing, hopefully readers will be too.

What’s your plotting preference? Lots? Some? None? I’d love to hear about your planning process.

Thanks, Clare!

claresmallClare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.


When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

New releases mailing list




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

4 responses to “If I’m left guessing, hopefully readers will be too” Guest Post: Author Clare Davidson


    Thanks for letting me hijack your blog 🙂 What plotting do you do, Deb?


      I usually make an attempt to come up with my 7 basic plot points from the start and go from there. I tend to find, though, that I get stuck at about my midpoint and just start writing. The later plot points slowly reveal themselves as I approach them, or change if I previously thought I had them pretty well knuckled-down. I usually work with future events in mind, though the path to them may still be murky – hence my slow pace!

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