Hold Onto Your Panties! A Pantster Is On The Loose!

Hold Onto Your Panties, People! A Pantster Is On The Loose!

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Yes. You heard right. I… am a pantster.

An elusive breed of writer who lays track without really knowing where they’re going?

Well… not exactly.

My blog and website’s About Kat page, gives you clues about why I write the way I do.
{thinks you should read my About Kat page…highly stimulating…laughs}

But, the nuts and bolts of it?

I’m a recovering Type A personality. Anal retentiveness, OCD, and perfectionism… Oh. My. You think I want anything to do with plotting, planning, and outlining like plotters do? Hell. No.

In mid 2010, lighting struck in the middle of the night, as my creativity tends to do, and I started writing. By hand. In a notebook. With a pen. I had no idea until I’d finished that manuscript that I wrote as a pantster. Although, when I found out, I smirked. What a perfect description for unruly and slightly naughty me. {laughs}

What’s it like to write like a pantster?

Well, for me, it’s like a movie reel begins to roll. Action. Dialogue. Tension. It’s all there. The scenes unfold for me, and I’m writing by the seat of my pants trying to download everything as it flies by in my mind. At the beginning, and for a good part during the story, I have no idea what’s going to happen next. To me? The unfolding of the mystery makes the process of writing an adventure ride like no other.

Of course, when I begin, I do have a basic idea of where I’m going. I have a hero and heroine and a setting. I’ve already decided in my head their personalities and the challenges they’ll face coming together. And, I do write romance, so I know they’ll end up together in the end. It’s the exact path they take, which turns they’ll make along the way, and who or what will hijack them in the process that I have to discover as I travel the path along with them.

The advantages to being a pantster:

  • My need for a creative outlet is satisfied. The moment a story idea sprouts, I sit down and let my fingers fly. There are no writing “structures” slowing me down.
  • My drafting speed is super-hero fast. I’ve typed drafts of over 100,000 words, only a few hours a day, in two to three months.
  • I can’t wait to write. Every. Single. Time. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen in any given writing block, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, vibrating in excitement to be able to write.

The dis-advantages to being a pantster:

  • An outline and basic character/prop guide is a must on the re-write. One to three summary lines per chapter is helpful on when I go back in to polish the piece. The outline serves as a reference to be able to insert scenes or add character depth where needed. It also ensures I’m going from beginning to end in the best way possible.
  • Re-write of the draft takes MUCH longer than a plotter (or so I’ve heard.) Sometimes, I’m re-writing whole scenes because the chapter opened wrong. Occasionally, that results in having to tweak the whole chapter to make it flow right.
  • No shower is sacred anymore. {sighs} Showering has become a group event for me. I don’t know if it’s all the hot water and lathering, or the acoustics of the tile surround, but my mind seems to become a receiver for ideas I’ve been knocking about in my head. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dashed out of the shower, soaking wet, towel barely draped around me, as I fly across the house to my computer to get the New-York-Times-Best-Seller-List-Worthy scene out of my head.

Even though there are a few disadvantages to being a pantster, I wouldn’t do it any other way. I thoroughly enjoy the longer time it takes to re-write. I even edit on a micro-level like a pantster, only on the second time around, I let a good dose of my perfectionism seep into the manuscript. The feeling of pride about what I create makes that slow-and-steady combination worthwhile.

The bottom line for me? Every single time I write, I’m having a blast. And, I whole-heartedly believe…

If you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Be sure to follow my blog to see what adventures this pantster is up to next. And, if I were you, I’d hold onto those panties tight. Any time I’m around, they are at serious risk.
Or…like I sometimes do… go commando. {winks}

Happy writings and readings, everyone!

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Lost ManCandy: How Copyright Protects Us All

Lost ManCandy: How Copyright Protects Us All

© 2012 – by Kat Bastion

(DISCLAIMER: None of the following is legal advice. The following is merely food for thought from your new favorite shoe.)

Where did all the tasty blog ManCandy go?

Sadness had filled my Twitter timeline. Sobs and moans were heard as bloggers deleted photo after photo of their favorite celebrity’s abs and pecs. Many changed their hard-body avatars. People pulled down a black veil over their face in mourning.

It came to light, that a court case had been settled regarding copyright infringement. A photographer took an author and fellow blogger to task when she, like so many others have, unknowingly violated copyright law by using photos others had posted on the internet.

Ripples of panic and sorrow were felt throughout the Twittersphere…and still are.

Everyone who’s heard the news has been deleting or replacing photos on their blog sites. Many closed down their Pinterest and Tumblr accounts. The one who went to court? She paid money she didn’t have for her unknowing infringement on the artist’s copyright. A difficult lesson learned by one of us should be heeded by all.

I jumped on Google to see what kinds of photos you can use without permission. The muck I had to wade through was astonishing. Just in the last decade, organizations have attempted to clarify what is and isn’t fair use with regard to an artist’s work. I found guidelines posted from entities (for their users) ranging from Wikipedia to Stanford (for their reporters.)

Why all the gray area? Fair use has some ambiguity. It’s left up to a judge to decide.

Today, on my Twitter feed, someone posted a super hot photo of Channing Tatum on Pinterest. {fans self}

Hmmmmm… Could she have found a loophole in the rules? Did her post fall under “fair use”? Or maybe she hadn’t heard. The photo had a GQ watermark on it. Maybe that’s okay, then. Right?


My brief research revealed that if the use of a photo falls under the “fair use” portion of copyright law, it may be okay to use a celebrity’s photo without the celebrity’s permission, however it is not okay to use without the photographer’s permission. In this particular case, it would be GQ’s permission. Go to GQ’s website and read their disclaimer at the bottom. You cannot use any material without written permission.

There are other issues at stake besides just copyright that I came across. Anyone in a photograph, celebrity, or otherwise, could sue for privacy violation if they didn’t give you written permission to post a photo publicly. If you took a photograph with your favorite celebrity, and there were twenty fans in the picture, technically the celebrity and the twenty fans would have to give you written permission to have their face plastered onto the internet.

What a bummer. Photos are such a beautiful compliment to our writing. In an 800 word blog, your picture gets to also say a thousand.

So what do we do?

  • We take and post our own beautiful photos. If there are other people in that photo, make sure you have their written permission to make the photo public. Watch out for minors! Make sure you have their parents’ or guardians’ permission.
  • We get permission from photographers and periodicals when they have a photo we absolutely have to use. And we prepare ourselves to pay for that use.
  • We use photos that give us express permission to do so, with the type of licensing granted (like creative commons on Flickr), and make sure we follow their licensing guidelines.

Seem like too much work?

I’ve heard violators have paid $4,000.00 for a copyright infringement and can pay upwards to $25,000.00. So, we have to ask ourselves, how much is posting that photo properly worth.

Copyright Protects Us All

There is a silver lining in all this rapid education. I hope that with all the blogging and re-educating, we realize that as writers and authors, we want our work to be protected just as much as the photographer. The moment our words are inked, they belong to us.

Copyright empowers the artist to say how their work is used and who has the right to do so. The law enables us to stop the piracy of our carefully crafted work of art. After months and years we spend to get that one story out there, perhaps we can appreciate how the photographer feels.

Every time I think of the ManCandy we’ve all lost, I’m going to take heart in the protections we’ve gained. And…watch the DVD I will have purchased of Magic Mike any time I need a good dose of my paid for ManCandy. {laughs}

Happy safe blogging!


© 2012 – by Kat Bastion

The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse

The Twitter Trap – Social Media: Blessing and Curse
© 2012 – Kat Bastion

Have you been sucked into the Twitter Trap? How to use this valuable social media tool to your advantage as a writer may seem like a straight-forward concept, but there are writers who get it and those who don’t. In the social media craze too many are missing the point.

Who am I to say so?  {WARNING: Self-promotion moment…dusts off and puts on my marketing-major hat} Besides creating and implementing successful marketing campaigns for businesses, I’ve expressed a keen interest in all things marketing; specifically what works and what doesn’t. This post is my opinion and is based on observation alone.

Now, back to Twitter…

If used correctly, Twitter is a fabulous place for networking with like-minded people. It’s a quick and easy way to connect with many who have the same interests as you. If your followers like what you have to say, they’ll RT (Retweet) your post to their followers. Then, they’ll tell two friends…and so on…

Ahhhh…but therein lies the key to success, doesn’t it?

1. You have to network. That means talk to people. Carry on meaningful dialog. Post about your favorite books, the melting of your keyboard at a steamy love scene you’re writing, or a survey about who is hotter: Jericho Barrons or… well… just that Barrons melts your panties.

2. Dialog is two-sided. Check out the person replying to your post. If their bio or timeline seems interesting, follow them back, so you can see what they have to say and engage them on occasion. No one enjoys being the only one to strike up the conversation, or you come off as stuck-up. #JustSayin

3. Have something interesting to say. Provide your followers with something of value. An inspiring poem. Your favorite quote. Something funny that happened to you that day. Your amazing very first blog post that you’re so damn proud of. {gestures up and down along the side of this post with a hand flourish}

Where do so many go wrong?

Some rarely or never engage other people and only post about themselves. Their timelines are filled posts that say: Love me. Buy my book. Like my Facebook page. Love me. Buy my book. Like my Facebook page. Over and over…and over again.

Others may engage your replies with a comment back, but never follow you. No matter how many times you talk to them. If they aren’t famous and don’t have a million followers who buy their books, songs, movies, etc. purely for the love of their work, they appear unapproachable after a while.

Oftentimes, the only interaction some narcissistic people have with other people is thanking people for loving them (RTing their self-love.) Who’s their target market? Zombies?

If all they post is repetitive regurgitation of how much they love themselves, I have to wonder…who’s paying attention? Duplicate boring posts get blurred into the background of the timeline. Like flier-blindness at an overcrowded bulletin board, no one reads what you have to say when nothing is fresh or new. The poster of the mundane loses followers, or a discerning person looking at their timeline never follows at all.

The goal is to get people to buy your amazing book, right? Does following 25,000 people and having 25,000 followers translate into people buying and loving your book? Maybe the zombies. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a decaying eyeball falling onto a page I’ve carefully crafted—the undead are not my target market. 

No matter what social-media train you’re on, it’s important to spend the time to make quality connections. Very busy and famous rock bands, actors, and authors make the time to connect with their fan base on Twitter, because it’s so easy to do. More importantly, they see the value enormous value in it. It makes them human and relatable.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! …. We all have to be careful of our time on Twitter. The lure of escaping into another realm can be addictive, and the time-suck can deaden creativity. In order to keep our writing flowing, we have to watch how often and when we visit social media. Make sure the time you allot to Twitter counts. Engage others, follow people that you like, and have something interesting to say.

Think about your goals. Are you trying to gather the largest number of followers and likes? Or, are you trying to write the best book, novel, short-story, poetry?

Most importantly, make sure most of your creative time is spent polishing your work to be the very best piece ever written. Because at the end of the day, nothing sells a book faster than rave reviews spreading like wildfire across the meaningful network that you’ve successfully created.

I hope you enjoyed this first blogpost of mine! Please comment, share and RT if you enjoyed it. {nothing wrong with a touch self-love…smirks}


© 2012 – Kat Bastion

Closes My Eyes, Crosses My Fingers…


Blog? Activated.
Website? Up and running.
Should this blog be connected to and post this to Twitter? Yes.
Should this blog be connected to and post this on Facebook? Yes!

{closes my eyes and crosses my fingers that this posts correctly}

And please subscribe to/follow both my blog and my website!
Thanks for your patience, the first blog post will be coming this week!

Your No Longer Tech-Challenged Writer-Friend,

Kat Bastion