Plotting and Pantsing

Plotting and Pantsing

Channelled WritingAre You a Plotter or a Pantser?

Last month I came across this question for the first time and had no idea what it meant at first. I came across it in an author’s forum which gives a small clue. It asks if you, as an author, plot your book in detail and then write it in linear sequence. Alternatively, do you just make it up as you go along?

It made me think about my approach and, at first, I thought I am a wearer of the pants. On reflection, I thought, “No I do have a plot, most of the time at least.”

Then the answer came to me. The question itself is flawed in my opinion and suggests than you can only choose one as your approach. Rather than an EITHER/OR approach, what I have done most recently gives the best of both worlds, by plotting and outlining a course AND/BOTH flying by the seat of my pants!

Soulwaves Soulwaves : A Future History

With my first novel, I had the main plot line nailed down for many years (15 or so) but not the very ending. The last and 100th chapter only came to me when I was writing chapter 98 or so.

The main plot chronicles the years from 2058 to 2109, when all life on earth is wiped out. That by the way is not a spoiler as it’s not the end or point of the book.

What lifted the main plot line was interspersing and intertwining the linear narrative, based in The Density, with a viewpoint from an other-worldly perspective from what I called The Void. This gives both depth and context in both space and time. The implication is an age-old concept that there is more to heaven and earth that we can possibly know and understand. The second plot line was completely ‘pants’!

By way of exploration, this ambient track takes readers to a place where they can actually experience what it’s like to be in The Void and observe the goings on in The Density.

Return to the Void

by Töm Evans | from the Soulwaves Ambient Album

Soulwaves Insertions iPadSoulwaves : Insertions

So this second book is bound in length by the number 12, with each short story inspired by the numerology of each number from 1 to 12. This then spills over to the 12 ambient tracks and the meditations inspired by each short story.

The overarching plot tells both the pre- and post-history of humankind. In a Cloud Atlas kind of way, some characters appear and re-appear down the timelines – as is the way with things.

Chapters 1 to 6 and chapters 11 and 12 were planned, in outline only, and plotted from the outset. Chapters 7 through to 10 only appeared in meditation on the days I’d planned in my diary when they were coming to meet me. So this book is mostly 2/3rds plotted and 1/3rd ‘panted’.

When it comes to the ambient album and the meditations, the ideas for them only start appearing after I delivered the previous track. Listeners experience how they build on each other and get more complex and audacious at the same time. Like the third book in the series, they are exclusively available to subscribers.

Have a listen to Insertion 1 : The Scroll and see if you can spot which elements I plotted in advance and what might have arrived ‘off the top of my head’.


The Scroll

by Töm Evans | Insertion 1

Soulwaves The Duadex ShadowSoulwaves : The Duadex

With the third book in the anthology, I am 75% in pants mode, running along with a loose 25% framework of a plot. As it is largely based millions of years into the future, on planets with weird and wonderful life forms, too rigid a plot would strangle the wilder fantasies and flights of the imagination.

The book is being serialised, in a Charles Dickens manner, as an audiobook exclusively to subscribers but I am thrilled to share one of the more bizarre chapters publicly here for the first time.

I hope these three different samples of my work show you how you can plot and pant at the same time. This mixed and selective approach, at the very least, works for me.

Active Channelling

For most of my non-fiction works, there is a rigid, mind-mapped structure which is populated with scribings done in the meditative state. Some call this channelling.

In my free course, How to Channel Your Book, I explain the difference between passive and active channelling. On reflection, active channelling is the plotting AND pantsing state. The only difference being that you bring an external intelligence and guiding hand into the mix. If you listen to The Duadex, you will hear concepts which have not from me but through me. The latest chapter that I’ve shared here, on where the first 12 Duadexes get delivered, is a good example of that.

Get access to the How to Channel Your Book course here



by Töm Evans | Chapter 16 of The Duadex

Down to Business

Down to Business

The Business of Mindfulness Insight TimerIf you read my blog last month, you will have seen I hit yet another milestone on Insight Timer – this moonth, something else equally remarkable happened.

They approached me to see if I had any meditations that would be suitable for businesses as they are launched a new subscription called Insight Timer @Work.

I had loads already on the app and then uploaded a few more. Then, towards the end of the month, they asked if I consider doing a course. So in just two days, I created a 10 day course and it went live on the third day – which I then found was somewhat of a record. As I was using the principles I teach in another course, The Art of Timefulness, perhaps no surprise.

It’s a ten day course split into two halves. In the first five days, I introduce the basic concepts of meditation and mindfulness but in a business context. The second half of the course contains five meditative techniques you can use to be more creative, productive, innovative, attractive and lucky. The course is equally applicable for micro-businesses and multinationals.

What’s not to like?

Discover how to use mindfulness in the workplace here …

Read more about Insight Timer @Work here …


Three Paths

I’ve known for a whole that while it’s a good thing to always be creating loads of content, you can leave people behind and make it hard for them to keep up with you. Especially if you do something like create a whole 10 day course in just two days!

So, in an attempt to simplify things, a new header has sneaked on to my home page showing there are three paths you can take …

  1. Have fun with me : here’s where I share my latest outpourings in the form of fiction, new music and exclusive meditations – there is a small monthly subscription for this which helps keep me going
  2. Chill out with me : via Insight Timer, here’s where you can listen to my vast repository of free meditations (access to the courses require a premium subscription)
  3. Learn with me : all my pre-2020 courses and meditations that accompany my books can be accessed, again for free, here

July’s Creative Output

This was a bit of a bumper month for me :

New ‘Fun’ Content : exclusive to subscribers

  • Four new chapters for The Duadex : the third book in the Soulwaves Anthology
  • The seventh ambient track from the Insertions album : Septima
  • The seventh meditation based on the numbers : Supersensibility
  • The seventh lecture on numerology
  • Two new meditations in the Just for Each Day soundcast

p.s. the only way to get these is via subscription but you can now get three days trial access

p.p.s. subscriptions here really help me keep producing the free stuff below : what goes around comes around

Free ‘Chill Out’ Content : on Insight Timer

  • The Love Zone : another chapter from my audiobook, The Zone
  • The Happy Zone : another chapter from my audiobook, The Zone
  • Etherea : a one hour ambient mashup
  • Messages in Time (remastered with my own ambient)
  • Moments of Light (remastered with my own ambient)
  • Agreeing Together (a new meditation for IT @Work)
  • Seeing Together (a new meditation for IT @Work)
  • Breathing Together (a new meditation for IT @Work and you can listen below)

p.s. I am slowing down a little in August

Breathing Together

by Töm Evans | one of the new tracks uploaded to Insight Timer this month

Creating Meditales

Creating Meditales

dominoesThe Soulwaves Triptych

While it was well over 15 years, and 15 other books, before  Soulwaves : A Future History finally got published, the first of many dominoes seems to have toppled and started, well, somewhat of a ‘wave.

The second book in the series, Soulwaves : Insertions, duly emerged 13 moons after the publication of its prequel. The twelve short stories that it contained are now regularly inspiring the creation of ambient tracks, meditations and lectures all inspired in sequence by the numbers 1 to 12.

What is most significant though is the trigger provided by this author starting and leaving a huge open loop, first in Insertion i : The Scroll and then followed by Insertion xii : The Duadex.

What started as a novel and unexpectedly gave rise to a complete album of ambient music has now grown into a complete anthology.

Insertions BundleThe Year So Far

Just to give you an idea of what the publication of Insertions has triggered after four New Moons and three Full Moons:

  • Ambient Track #1 : Unification
  • Ambient Track #2 : Duality
  • Ambient Track #3 : Triality
  • Ambient Track #4 : Orrery
  • Meditation #1 : Finding Unity
  • Meditation #2 : Dabbling with Duality
  • Meditation #3 : Memes of Awakening
  • Lecture #1 : The Nature of Unity
  • Lecture #2 : Dabbling with Duality
  • Lecture #3 : Trusting Triality

Note that the Insertions Lectures are live inside the Soulwaves Facebook Group, on each New Moon, and then the recordings appear on the Soundwise app a few days later.

… in addition, each moonth we post a daily illustrated meme inside the Facebook Group from which I create brand new meditation which are released on Insight Timer – here’s an example from last moonth.

Soulwaves The DuadexSerialisation of The Duadex

The Soundwise app allows me to do something I have wanted to do for so long and that’s to serialise the delivery of a book. The ability of listeners to comment on a chapter-by-chapter basis also means that you can steer the direction of the book as I create it.

So the Duadex starts where the last book finishes, at the end of Epoch Six and the start of Epoch Seven. It explores what happens when Duadexes arrive on their target planets and sentient civilisations start to communicate with each other. Expect a few surprises though as all sentience is not necessarily how we currently see and perceive it.

You’ll also be pleasantly surprised as each chapter is told in the style of a meditation, accompanied by ambient music from the Soulwaves Albums. I am calling them Meditales – have a listen to the preamble to get the idea.

Preamble to the Duadex

by Töm Evans

Tapping into the Magic of Creativity

This recent interview gives considerable perspective and insight into how I tap into this flow of creativity.

Tom Evans Soundwise Bundle
New Yarns

New Yarns

This moonth has seen a spinning together of many threads and the weaving of new yarns – in both senses of that word.

The publication of book two in the Soulwaves Anthology is the visible, exterior linchpin – along with the launch of my premium content on the Soundwise app.

The less visible aspect of this unification came from tying all this year’s creative output to the Moon Phase.

The New Pattern

  • Each New Moon : a new ambient track for the album inspired by Insertions – the first is called Unification and the second out today called Duality
  • Each Full Moon : a new guided meditation inspired by the numbers 1 to 12 – the first is called Finding Unity and introduces the concept of the Unified Chakra
  • Each New Moon : a lecture exploring the numbers 1 to 12 – these will be live first in the Soulwaves Facebook Group and then archived for replay
  • Each Moon orbit : the daily Just for Today memes, illustrated by Siri Opli, explores each number
  • Then from the Spring Equinox, I will start releasing and serialising my next book, The Duadex,
  • All of this content is available exclusively via the Soundwise app

In addition to this output, I’ll also be publishing my not inconsiderable back archive on Insight Timer. For example, I am serialising my 2016 book, The Zone and discovering and remastering meditations that I forgot I recorded.

For example, I added some words that I recorded in 2010 to an ambient track I created in 2020 and, hey presto, Ethereal Whispers popped out of nowhere !!

In addition, I published the ambient only layer from the track Ocean’s Rise and created a ripple, no a wave, that I wasn’t expecting with a track called Souls Talking.

So next moonth, what’s happening is more of the same, all around the number 2 and the nature of duality.

In Thirteen Moons

In Thirteen Moons

soulwaves insertionsThe Last Thirteen Moonths

Thirteen Moon orbits ago, I finally published a novel that I started 15 years and 15 other books ago. Then, in the first lockdown, a book I hadn’t planned wandered along. It’s a set of shortish stories that are both prequels and sequels to that novel.

From today, Soulwaves : Insertions is available in print, ebook and audiobook on all the usual platforms.

And I am having a launch ‘party’ to celebrate which you can catch in the Soulwaves Group on Facebook – or on my YouTube Channel if Facebook isn’t your bag.

In the last thirteen moons, something more than just my first novel came along. It inspired a five hour album of ambient soundscapes and a four hour meditation series called the Soul-full Path.

This second book has a similar future vector.

The Next Thirteen Moonths

On each New Moon, starting today, I will release an ambient track which will form the Insertions Album – each track inspired by the numbers 1 to 12, as are the chapters in the book.

Each Full Moon will see the release of a guided meditative visualisation also inspired by the numbers 1 to 12.
And to wrap each ‘moonth’ up, starting with February’s New Moon, there will be a live lecture on the significance of each number and how we can use them in our lives.

Insertions Bundle

Tom Evans SoundcastsUnification

Towards the end of 2020, I got an email from the CEO of an app called Soundwise. It is something I had been looking for. It gives me a unified platform where I can host audiobooks, meditation series, albums, courses and a podcast.

What’s more listeners can sample content for free, invest in an individual item or subscribe to my whole portfolio – and interact with me and other listeners too!

So I made my pre-2020 content freely available at the beginning of this year … it was this act that encouraged the arrival of the post-2020 content delivery mechanism.

There’s a couple of other activities that I have unified at the same time.

The end of 2020 saw the last Zone Show Podcast episode and Soulwaves : The Podcast is replacing it. Instead of conversations about the zone, we’ll be more soul-lead.

Also, for the last three and a half years, I’ve been co-creating and sharing daily memes called Just for Today, with artist, musician and guide Siri Opli. For the next 13 moon orbits, they will track the numerological focus of that moonth. This moonth will all be about Unification and they will be published exclusively in the Soulwaves Facebook Group. This is the place to hang out if you want to catch the ‘wave.

Related Links :

My pre-2020 free stuff

Subscribe to my post-2020 premium content

Join the Soulwaves Group on Facebook for updates and to connect with Like Minds

What’s Next?

Something else rather special will be happening over the next 13 moon orbits.

I will be writing the third book in the Soulwaves Anthology. It’s called The Duadex and will bring together many of the strands and threads from the first two books in the series. It is being specifically written to be made into a film or TV series, ideal for James Cameron or Christopher Nolan to direct, or for Ridley Scott to produce … I don’t mind which.

More specifically, it will be serialised exclusively to subscribers to my new app, starting from Spring this year.