Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Why Flying By the Seat of My Pants Got Me
Nowhere Back to the Plotting Board
Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This Week's Topic:
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a little of both. For all my projects, I begin with a rough outline, plan to do more plotting, but my impatient side usually kicks in before that happens, and off I go, flying by the seat of my pants. Well, not completely. I have major plot points in mind, and I tend to outline a few chapters at a time before I actually write them, but I've always just liked to see where the story takes me. And my characters. And that method of writing has usually worked for me.
Many of my followers know I've been struggling with the latest WIP (so if the post sounds familiar, um... it is). It's the story whose plot gave birth to ten different subplots, and they took off in a katrillion directions. And then some of those subplots got together and gave birth to more subplots. And more subplots. And...yeah, there was a ginormous circus in my head. And it wasn't always a fun place to be. Too many clowns. Too many eccentricities. Too much going on.
My saviour's been Save the Cat - Blake Snyder's Screenwriting Bible - aka Big Book of Awesome Sauce. It helped me see the effectiveness of plotting BEFORE taking the writing plunge. And I'm doing better. I'm almost to the midpoint of the new version of my WIP (I wrote two-thirds of the old one and scrapped it), and I have fairly detailed scenes for where I want the story to go from there. There are still things I want to fix on the front end, but I've turned my inner editor on mute (er...somedays), but well, that's another post entirely.
And I've learned - I still like to pants it, but I'm very much into the plotting thing too.
PS - I think I win the award for Blogger's longest post title. Ha.
How about YOU? Plotter? Or Pantser?