(Reposted from July 28th, 2020 – because I’ve switched to managed WordPress and don’t know how to merge the two!)
So, it’s July already and I’m behind schedule for the new book and I am fairly and squarely placing the blame on coronavirus. No, I haven’t had the virus, I just could not find any creative juices to write with, it’s as simple as that.
But, while my creative muse had ditched me for a while, I had plenty to do with renovating my new home, helping my daughter navigate a hastily cobbled together school online and my husband working from home too. Time passed at a surprisingly fast rate once the initial shock of quarantine wore off, until all the days blended into one and sometimes I realized it actually was Tuesday when I thought it was Tuesday, but most times I had no clue what day it was, and still don’t.
I started thinking about my writing as a business during this time and decided I had to get myself a really good plot worked out for the new book.
I was a pantser on the first one. Being a pantser basically just means you fly by the seat of your pants, you just write with no real idea where the plot is going and it really does work. It’s not efficient though. It took me a long time to write the last book, a really long time.
Being a pantser or a plotter is a choice. So I thought I would choose to be a plotter for this next book and see how that went. Well, I started writing less than two weeks ago from my clear outline of the book and I’m over 20,000 words already. I’d say that proved my point very effectively.
I’m not sure I’ll be a 100% plotter all the time, but if I want to be successful and get my “product” out there faster, then the pantser method just won’t cut it.
Another issue with the go with the flow style stream of consciousness, no planning style of writing is that you forget things. I changed a character’s last name for a good reason last time, but I forgot to change it everywhere. I wrote a character into a scene after he was meant to be somewhere else. I forgot the order things happened.
Now, I have a spreadsheet with details on it – I know when something happened now and I log new events here so I can keep track.
I don’t plot every single little detail, I just set the scene for major things happening and occasionally have mini-scenes or lines of dialogue I like that I put into the plot.
I think it took me at least 6 months to reach 20,000 words for the first book, but I’m hoping to be at 30,000 by next week and finished some time in August and then onto the editing stage and the fun part where I work with a cover designer to come up with a cool design I like.
So, tell me, are you a pantser or a plotter, and how is that working for you?
Peace out from D.C. (where it’s never anything but too hot lately).