As you can probably tell, the two-week mark has come and gone for NaNoWriMo. So far, things are going well. I’m on track to write 75k this month. So far, I have managed to break all other monthly records for 2019.
What does that mean for me?
I have a story worth telling, and it is flowing. That’s what it means. The moment I reach the end of the story, things will slow down as I figure out the next.
That what being able to produce as many words as possible means. It’s knowing what the story is to make sure you have something to tell.
Pants vs. Plotting
It brings up that age-old argument. What is better? Discovery writing it or outlining it. For me, it’s both.
The issue I have with outlining is that it takes all of the fun away from discovering the story. Its too rigid and doesn’t adapt to new ideas.
The issue with discovery writing is that it can lead to going down the wrong path. It can lead to a meandering story that has no idea where it wants to go or what is essential. It also leads to low productivity as a discovery writer ends up going back and fixing the poorly plotted book.
The advantages of plotting are that the author knows precisely what to write before you do it.
The advantage of pantsing is that you get that sense of discovery of learning what the story is before you do it.
In the Beginning.
When I first started writing, I was a pantser. I loved having my characters tell me a story. It was thrilling to have them speak. As I started this crazy half a million-word challenge, it became apparent that pantsing wasn’t going to get me going. Many of my low word count days were caused by me not knowing the story.
I adopted a method of deciding plot points of the stories and discovery writing to the signposts.
Then I started to end the signposts and plot the ending, but not until I got to that point.
I do what I call extended signpost. I will plot out sections, 5 or 6 chapters at a time, then write them. My signposts are loose, and I’m not set to them. Which is why I only do a few chapters at a time. At the end of the signposts, I will plot out the next 5 pages.
This gives me the freedom to discover the story while still keeping that added benefit of not running out of the story to write or taking a wrong turn.
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