The Writer’s Wheel…7/9/19: Do You Plan Out Your Book?
To Outline or Not Outline.
I’m in between a plotter and a pantster. I try to look at things as having the best of both worlds. I began writing as a pantster. I remember reading that Stephen King didn’t outline his books and so that got me thinking that was the way to do things. I wrote five books that way then realized with each, most of the time I was rambling. Edits were heavy to fix this but even they didn’t quite get things right, so I shelved them. I still love the story idea, but it was a great learning experience and it needed to be put aside. Three books ago, a critique partner and best friend, convinced me to try outlining.
What I Discovered Outlining.
At first, it aggravated me, writing everything down. It seemed so hollow. Something I shouldn’t do. Once I got past the resistance though, things took shape. I could see a map of my story. Where it was going, where it’d been. I figured maybe there was something to this outlining after all. Still, I don’t write down every detail. Things change as well. I like to have some shake up to a story where the characters take over the direction they want to go.
Putting It All Together.
I start with characters, using the character builder on OneStopforWriters.com. I use their workshops to build my world, figure out my characters wounds and positive and negative traits. It gives me a good basis to work with. Still, I also use old-fashioned notebooks to build characters to. I ask standard questions but that doesn’t really held mold the character. What does for me, is writing in their pov. I get a sense of them and know what they’re about. I don’t always know what’s going to happen to them, or who they become.
I basically, use the outline to ground me as I write. I check it, make sure I’m on track. It also helps if I get stuck. However, like I said, if something occurs to me that I think is better than what I had, I go with it. Outlines do help, but so does pantsing. Whatever your method, have fun and getting to know your character is the best thing you can do.
Do you outline? Pants? Both? Have a great week, take care, and God bless!
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