Nov 22, 2010

Pantsers and Plotters by Hazel Statham

Authors are divided into two groups, the planners and the pansters. Me? I’m definitely a panster. Of course, I know in which direction I want the story to go but, apart from a vague idea, I just go with the flow. For me, it’s like listening in on private conversations and just watching as the story unfolds before me. Quite often, I hear words coming out of my characters’ mouths that I never even dreamed of and frequently the story takes a completely different direction. This doesn’t cause a problem and, on the whole, usually enriches the plot.

An example of this is that I never knew Stephan, a character in MY DEAREST FRIEND, had an illegitimate daughter until the sergeant confided it to Stephan’s brother. It came as quite a surprise but added yet another element to the story. I write, primarily, for my own amusement and don’t write to a formula so my characters are allowed to do or say anything they wish. Luckily, this usually works and adds to the enjoyment of writing the book.

The first draft is where I develop the story and characters. Refinement comes later. I am never completely satisfied with the first, second or indeed, third draft, but there has to come a point when you let it go and, for good or bad, allow it to fly.



Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off since she was fifteen. Initially she was influenced by Austen, the Brontës, and Sabatini but when she turned seventeen, Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She immediately knew she had found her eras and wanted nothing more than to re-create them in her work.

Her latest book is the Regency romance novel, The Portrait, released by Avalon Books in August 2010.

Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie. Apart from writing, her other ruling passion is animals, and until recently she acted as treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.

You can visit her online at and her blog at


  1. Thanks for hosting Hazel today. I hope your readers will check out her latest book. I think it's one of her finest.


  2. Many thanks for hosting me today. It is very much appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing from my readers and promise to answer all my mail.