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!