Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pantser turned Outliner. Is it the end of the world?

No, not the end of the world. 

I've spent the last few days away from the computer. Yes I was still writing. I was back to the old, can't go wrong, pen and paper method.  I have to say that I really did miss that free flow of ink to paper feel.

So why the switch? Am I still working on that stubborn MS or did I create a new one? Answer: Both.

I've been having difficulties in some chapters. I had written a full first draft. It was alright but on the editing I found I needed a revamp, bad. So I started the rewrite. I cannot state this enough, don't just focus on the first chapter till you think it's perfect, because you'll end up spending the rest of your life 'perfecting' it. Impossible to do. My suggestion: rewrite it and move on and rewrite each and every chapter. Life too short to focus too much on how well you opening line catches the reader's attention. That can come when you're into a deeper edit.

From Cliffhanger Editing Website
Okay, now that I've revealed my woopsie, I can tell you. I was panicking on not knowing exactly where I was going. My characters were just as confused as I was. Never a good thing. So I started looking over some tips from some writer/editing buddies on my FaceBook. (If you haven't checked out Cliffhanger Editing, click this link. Don't worry I'll still be here when you come back.) They, like myself, are trying to get ready for NaNoWriMo. So I thought, TJ Loveless outlines, and she's epic. Let's see what I can do.

NaNoWriMoRight now I'm writing a summary of every characters story arc. Let me tell you, some things I was completely stuck on came to life with answers. It's refreshing. I'm going to keep working on them before I continue the rewrite. Everything is starting to fall into place.

So Let me know how you outline, if you do. What steps do you take? How long does it take you to outline?


  1. *sniffles* Have I told you how much I <3 you lately???

    It's amazing what happens when you do the summaries. Especially character arcs - it helps to see it from a different perspective. I have to do it often myself :) Bring on the NaNo!

  2. I confess that I always outline... Rather extensively. Not to say that I always STICK to the outline as I write (those pesky characters dash off on their own tangents sometimes). But I find it easier to work through the general idea of the plot and character arcs if I outline first. I also create a notebook with reference material, pictures, character profiles, etc. as needed. Just some things to get the creative ideas flowing!