I wrote a book. It was a whole book. I was incredibly excited. I had written this whole big thing and it came from my brain and I just sat down and barfed 60k out into Scrivener (I like to use Scrivener because it makes me feel oh so professional and hipster, and also because I can’t format in Word.) and was feeling pretty boss. Then I read my 60k. This is what pretty much happened:
How did she know? I fixed the plot holes and stuff. But she did know and she requested a full rewrite. And I being new at this whole thing set out to do that. She told me to make an outline. So I sat down and I took a month. Yes, a month because the idea of outlining was so foreign to me that I didn’t really know how to do it. I knew I wanted to go chapter by chapter and I wanted it to say AND THEN THIS HAPPENED PAM, OH AND DON’T FORGET THIS SHOULD BE HERE, FFS DON’T PUT THAT PART BACK IN CAUSE THAT WAS CRAY CRAY.
After I outlined the first half of the book I took a break and I thought about my characters. All of them, even the kids who send our duo off and never see them again. I wrote bios for each of them, I wrote what they looked like, and little anecdotes about them that no one would ever know.
Then I stuck the whole thing in a box and four months later I haven’t touched it again and I’m not rewriting it yet (sorry agent of awesome) but I took what I learned about outlining and I applied that to the book I am writing now.
AND OH MY GOD Y’ALL. It is so much easier to write, its going faster, I know my characters better and its easier to get inside the mind of my protagonists and add subtle nuances to the plot. I know there are a lot of writers who say they are pantsers and if that is true I am not only awed by that but a little jealous.
In the end my point of all this is it takes a while to find your own style, and to find what works for you and when you do find that thing it can be glorious.
What about you guys… pantser or outliner? Something in between?
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