On Writing (I’ve probably used that title before.)

So I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. Usually I’m what people call a pantser, meaning I write whatever comes and don’t really do any planning beyond “I have this idea, and here’s this character. Let’s see what happens.” Pantsers do a LOT of stream of consciousness type of writing. The downside is that it’s easy to write yourself into a corner, lose the plot entirely, or simply just not be able to find a decent opening to the story. But in order to meet a deadline (NaNoWriMo is from November 1st to the 30th, for those who are not aware) there is no way I can do the seat-of-my-pants type of writing for this. However, I do have an idea I’ve wanted to work on for over 5 years now and just never found a good way to work with it.

I’ve sat down and made an outline – something I haven’t done since college. But due to previous time management issues (a tempermental toddler at the top of that list) I was not able to finish the outline. It sat for months. I went back to it a few nights ago and read through it, intending to continue onward with building the structure of the story. And I hated it. I know that we are often our own worst critics, in everything that we do, but this was plain and simple rubbish. It was kind of interresting. The sort that if I found it online, yeah I might give it a read. But not something I’d think worthy of being put into even an e-book form.

So I started over. I pulled the good parts of the old outline into the new one, and found that I was going to have some key plot points happen out of order and far too early. Now, however, I’ve found a solid opening scene that sets the tone for the overall book and I’m very happy with it. From there I was able to flesh out the plot a little better, adding and removing characters from scenes so that it made more sense and flowed better. I even managed to figure out a simpler, but much better fitting title for the book as well.

I’ve now got the time, energy, and patience for banging out at least a rough draft once I finish the outline. I’m very satisfied with the notes I’ve made, and can’t wait to start the book in November.

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6 responses to “On Writing (I’ve probably used that title before.)

    • I’ve been wanting to do it since around 2004/2005, but never had the opportunity with school, then work, and then just a stressful life. I’m doing it this year just to prove to myself that I can. Though to keep my interest in writing going, I followes the 52 Weekend method found in “The Weekend Novelist”. It’s a very good book (the first edition, anyway. The second edition is scattered and disorganized and uses far too many books for the examples – the first edition uses only one.) It really helped me figure out time management as well, because the book was written by a teacher who only had the weekends free. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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