Filtering by Tag: outline

Plotter Panic

I’m a plotter.

A hardcore, need-to-know-every-detail, plotter.

As evidenced by the 27,000-word outline I wrote for my current work-in-progress.

Yep. 27,000 words.

So, imagine my borderline panic when I started writing the book and the opening scene was not as outlined. Borderline panic turned to full-on Omigod, what am I doing? when, scene by scene, chapter after chapter, everything was coming out new.

“Why did I spend so long outlining?” I asked myself. “Why didn’t I just start writing the damn book?”

At some point, about twenty thousand words in, I reached a point where I was like, “Okay. All right. I can do this.”

Which, given my obsessive plotting tendencies, is a big deal.

I fought the urge to stop writing, go back, re-outline, and I just kept going. Something inside me shifted, and I just relaxed into the writing. Clearly, these characters were going to tell this story the way that they saw fit. Who was I to interfere?

And you know what? So far, so good. I’ve got about three or four chapters left to write, and a new ending in mind. We shall see how it holds up…

The lesson here? Relax. At least, for me. I was so uptight about my outline, so stressed when it wasn’t working, when the story kept changing. The moment I let it go (Let it go! Let it go! Ahem…sorry.) was the moment I learned to trust my writerly instincts.

Does this mean I’m going to be a Pantser from now on? Hell no! Going into a story with absolutely no clue what’s going to happen freaks me out, even if what I plan on happening changes. But I have learned to roll with the punches. That’s a valuable lesson for someone like me.

What about you? Are you a Plotter? Pantser? Somewhere in between?

I Think My Brain's Busted

It's October 2nd. I should be a frantic, frenzied mess. I should be maniacally revising my WiP and working on an outline for NaNoWriMo. I should be freaking out.

But I'm not.

No, instead I'm spending ridiculous amounts of time dallying around on the internet and playing Sims. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

I think I'm having a mental breakdown. No, really. I'm serious. What other reason would I be so...unfocused?

I really need to get it together. I've got less than a month before the absolutely insane four weeks in November. The only saving grace I have is that I know the story I'm gonna be working on. I know it and its characters well. I just have to rework it and make it stronger and more...logical. Just an outline. That's all I need. Usually, when I'm starting a new project, I need an outline, character interviews, page after page of notes and research. But not this time. Just an outline. Maybe that's why I'm being so nonchalant. I think I've got it under control because I've been working on this story for so long. I'm not taking into account that whatever I've got written for it (an entire word-vomit of a first draft, written from too many POVs and filled with purple prose) is useless. Everything has to go. I have to start anew. I need to hammer that concept into my thick head. Maybe then I'll be good and motivated.

Or at least I hope so.

I leave for work in about twenty minutes. It's going to be a long, hectic day. I wasted three hours this morning doing nothing of importance when I could have gotten a lot accomplished. All day, I'm gonna kick myself for that. And all day, I'm going to remind myself that I've got a lot of work ahead of me. Maybe by the time I get out, I'll be motivated with just the right dash of freaking out.

So, how about you? Am I the only one who's so daggone unmotivated? How do you get past this?