Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Do We Need Another Post on Plotting vs. Pantsing?

Why, yes. Yes we do.

Late last night and the night before (9:30pm-11:30pm MST both nights)(okay, so that's not really just felt like it) I spend my writing sessions straightening out the kinks in my WIP. It was giving me a headache and seriously ruining my chances of a good hair day (see this post on my LJ blog for more details).

Anyway, as you'll all recall, I am very much a pantser. However, in an attempt to try something--ANYTHING!--to help get my WIP back on course, I sat down and outlined what I've already written.

And, you know what? It really really really really helped. There might just be something to this plotting thing.

But I did realize that I absolutely cannot write an outline FIRST. First I must do some exploring. I usually write the opening scene, so I can get a feel for who the MC is and where the story takes place, then I hop around the manuscript, writing scenes that fit with the very vague plot I've thought up before I sit down to write.

And that usually leaves me with a huge rat's nest of scenes that don't really fit together or make any sense. And it usually happens when I'm only about half-way through the story. I have a serious problem with muddled middles.

So, from now on, this is where the plotting will come in for me. Once I've explored to my heart's content, I can sit down and outline all the scenes I have finished. Then I can piece them together, much like a puzzle, and figure out what is missing and what needs to change to fit the rest of the story. Then I can finish the rest of the first draft.

I know, it doesn't make sense. But it works....for me.

Happy plotting/pantsing/whatever, people!

1 comment:

  1. Yup, I'm gonna try plotting too. Pantsing is fun, but you really take your chances that the whole manuscript could blow up in your face.