Pantsing Endorsed by Another Great Author

OK, that might be an exaggeration. The “endorsed” part, I mean. Not the “great.”

Andrew Klavan writes hard-boiled crime novels. Sometimes they have supernatural elements in them too. I recently discovered Klavan and have started reading through his work. Within the last week, I read Damnation Street. And it is pretty hard-boiled, let me tell you. Lots of violence, lots of language. A keen sense of human sin nature and human limitations.

The hero detective in Damnation Street, however, has a deeply buried romantic heart. And he is very intuitive in his approach to detective work. Here is a passage that describes how he operates:

[The detective, Weiss] wasn’t even sure he was trailing the right guy. It was just one of his Weissian hunches that had brought him here. And while his hunches were almost always right, he almost never trusted them. They were too vague, too unscientific. He wished he could write out the facts on a whiteboard or something and look them over and tap the pen against his chin and reach his conclusions through logic and deduction. But he never could. He just knew what he knew, so he never felt certain he knew it. (pp 77 – 78)

In fact, Weiss is trailing the right guy. And later, on page 91, we get this line:

The truth came to him in that flashing way the truth had.

That’s when he realizes he’s been wrong in certain of his assumptions about the man he was trailing.

OK, so maybe this is not endorsement of pantsing, but it’s certainly a great description of it.

Damnation Street, by Andrew Klavan, published 2006. Harcourt, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Pantsing Endorsed by Another Great Author

    1. I think the latter, Tom. When I called it an endorsement, that was with tongue firmly in cheek.

      The most I think this character shows is that Klavan knows what pantsing feels like. He writes crime novels, so he must do some plotting. (And this detective’s partner is much more of a plotter.)

      Based on the feel of Klavan’s novels and the role that intuition plays in his characters’ lives, I would guess that he pantses at least a bit. Perhaps he pantses his way through a first draft, then goes back and plots to fill holes and make everything consistent. I hope some day I’ll get a chance to ask him.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s