Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Outlining, Plotting and Planning

When I wrote my first book (which is very trunked), I wrote it out of order. I had a general idea of what I wanted to happen, and so I wrote whatever scene I felt like that day. And it ended up that I had to write all of the boring middle parts at the end of the novel. Plus I was going back and reworking so many scenes because things change when you write out of order.

When I wrote my second book, I had this awesome concept. It evolved and grew and i was so excited to finally be writing about it. I originally had the idea about five years before I started writing, so I had been thinking about it for a long, long time. I knew that I wanted to write it order from the previous book, so I did that, but anytime I was stuck I added in an explosion.

It took a lot of work to get the plot where it didn't drag and so that everything worked well together. A lot of work. I did two new drafts where I shifted, and then a complete rewrite, and then another complete rewrite where I got rid of about half of my characters. It made my novel much stronger, and it helped me to get ready to write Lexy.

With Lexy, I plotted before I started. My plot wasn't in a lot of detail. It was less than a sentence per chapter, and the book is only 30 chapters long. My entire outline took up one page. And I didn't stick with it exactly, as I wrote I realized that some things needed to be slowed down and take up more time, and that some things needed to happen earlier, and that I needed to add more conflict at this point in the plot or that point in the plot. I finished and my drafts were more focused on fixing emotions and showing relationships better. Totally different style of rewrites.

I look at the books I 've abandoned (but hopefully not for forever) and realize that part of the reason is that I didn't have a solid outline in place. While I started out more punster style, I am definitely much more of plotter. And this next book, I'm plotting both relationships and events and emotions, so that the book comes together really cohesively.

Are you a plotter or a panster?

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