Outlining: From a Pantser's POV
As I’ve talked about before, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, but I’m trying my hand at outlining this NaNoWriMo. I’ve found more than a few different ways that writer’s outline, including the 3 act structure, Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” version, Larry Brook’s version of outlining/plotting from “Story Engineering,” and quite a few other’s. I don’t know which one will work best for me. I’ve tried outlining my novel with each form of outline as I read the various ways, and to tell you the truth–I still don’t know.
I wish I had someone who would do that part for me. I talk. He/she listens and takes notes. I come up with the ideas, the names, the plots, the themes, the B story, the world building, etc. and the other person does the outlining, the making of maps, the creating the world, and then I go in and write the story. Until I’m a famous writer making real money at my profession, the kind of money that would afford me an assistant I don’t see that happening so I’m stuck doing all the nitty-gritty work myself. And to me, that stuff is the nitty-gritty hard work stuff.
The writing isn’t hard. It’s all the crap beforehand that’s hard. At least for me. BUT, last time I really tried to create a novel for NaNoWriMo I got bogged down in the middle, lost in translation, misplaced my muse, and ended up losing horribly all because I didn’t know where I was going with the novel. I had a clear idea when I started. I pantsed. I knew who my character was and what she was doing, and what was supposed to happen, and I started writing. I wrote. She talked and talked, and then before you know it the character had taken over and then I ended up at the midpoint of my novel and I looked up and realized she was fickle and indecisive and had no idea of what she really wanted, “Hey, don’t blame me. You’re the writer!” she said.
This time that won’t happen. This time I’m plotting. I’m working on my outline. I’ll still stay open to what the main character needs, to what’s going on with the setting, the theme, the plot, the arc of the story and the characters, BUT I will have a map (my outline) to help guide me and keep me headed in the right direction, even if I randomly take a few shortcuts, or a few side roads.
I’m just so thankful to Scrivener. Without Scrivener there is no way I’d be able to create an outline that still allows me freedom to change things around without going absolutely crazy. For allowing me to switch things around in the binder. For enabling me to color code things so it’s more convenient and efficient for me. I LOVE Scrivener. I’m still learning, and I really wish that the Windows version was as fancy as the Mac version. (Hello people, not all of us can afford a Mac or prefer a Mac. I’d have one if I could afford it, even if it meant learning everything all over again.)
So now I’m going to go to bed. It’s almost 4AM (my time) and I’m exhausted. I’ve posted on both blogs now, and I’m ready to fall asleep curled up with my husband’s pillow (that still smells like him) and fall asleep watching something on Netflix–Friday evening can’t get here soon enough–I miss him!
- Preparing for NaNoWriMo (whypaperbeatsrock.wordpress.com)
- Gearing up for NaNoWriMo (mentalmegalodon.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo (corinnedesjardins.wordpress.com)
- Oh Hell, We’re Where? (jodicleghorn.wordpress.com)
- Gearing up for NaNoWriMo? Here’s some links to check out… (7evildwarves.wordpress.com)