Writers Unite!

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Passionate writer and avid reader. I am writing my first Young Adult novel and working to get it published.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I can't help it, I'm a Pantser

I've been trying to outline this novel I'm working on and while I have some great ideas written down, tonight I began to write what I outlined for the beginning. I wrote 1700 words tonight and I think that's a very good start. I can't help myself, even as I outline what I want to happen, I'm constantly running dialogue through my head. I decided not to fight it anymore.

I am a Pantser and I'm okay with that. I am going to continue to outline, but if the mood strikes me to write down what I'm thinking I'm going to do that too. There is no wrong way to write a book as long as you get to where you want to go. Sometime even that will surprise you.

Until next time keep on writing and reading!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Outlining by a "Pantser"

In my last post I talked about attempting outlining before writing a word. Here is my progress so far:

Outlining has actually been very successful. I found a book writing blog, http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/archetypal-characters.html which gave me eight steps in an outline. The steps this blog gives you to creating an outline gets you to the thick of your story. I had problems outlining my existing story, which means there are more problems than I knew about. But I was successful with another story.

I've had this idea for a story in my head for a while now and I haven't pursued writing it yet. I figured I would try to outline both my stories at the same time and see which one had a better flow to it. My new story now has a beginning and an ending. I still need to figure out the meat of the story, but the idea is clear. The goals are set and the stakes have been decided.

Outlining the new story is easier. I'm not sure why, maybe it's because everything is new and still undecided. Now I have to make the decision which story I want to spend all my time with. Even though my original novel is technically written, I'm thinking about putting it on the back burner while I see where this new story takes me. What would you suggest? Have you tried outlining yet?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pantser or Plotter?

Last year around this time, I began writing my first novel. Everything I wrote came directly from my head as I wrote it. I didn't have anything written down and I had no idea where my novel would take me. Trust me, having ideas constantly running through your mind makes for very little sleep. Whenever I had an idea I would write it down, so I wouldn't forget it. But as far as plot and character development goes, I had nothing. This is called writing -by- the- seat- of- your- pants or the other famous term, a Pantser.

It's pretty safe to say I am a Pantser. In fact, I'm writing this blog post to you right now as the words come to me. But after reading numerous stories of authors who have to outline everything in great minute detail before they write a single word (Plotters), makes me wonder if maybe I should give outlining a fair shot.

The story I wrote last year has been edited over and over again and I haven't ripped the entire thing apart...yet, but I started a major rewrite a couple months ago and I feel stuck. I'm worried I might be hurting a story that could have had a chance. I wonder how you know when you should give up on a story, but that's a post for another day. So back to this novel I wrote. I'm thinking about changing pretty much everything and before I go through and destroy a year of work, it might be a good idea to outline my ideas.

I'll leave today with a word to my fellow Pantsers: We may let the story come alive under our fingertips and a surprise even we weren't expecting may come to us at any time, but try to switch it up. Try plotting everything out before you write a single word and see where that takes you. Plotting isn't for everyone and I honestly can't see myself liking it, but I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!