Thursday, 6 September 2012

(Yet Another) Change to the Process

A few posts back I raved about how well plotting worked for me. I got the story written quickly, it was an adequate length, and there were few revisions needed. With such a successful experience, I figured plotting would be my best bet for my newest story. So last week I sat down and started brainstorming. I wrote copious notes for about five pages.

I didn't write anything else for six days. Not a word.

Yesterday, I'd had enough. I didn't know the minor details about my world yet. I didn't know much about the plot. I didn't have essays on my main characters (although I know a fair bit about where my minor characters come from). Despite all this, I opened up a Word document (I know, not even Scrivener!), and started writing.

I wrote a chapter. Four(ish) pages. Maybe not a huge amount, but it was a start, and it was darn better than how I was doing before.

So why didn't plotting work for me this time?

I thought about it, and the best answer I can give is this: Last WiP, it wasn't really a first draft. It was a rewrite. I wanted to take out the magical elements (which were essential to the plot in the original), and emphasise what had been the secondary plot.

And that made all the difference. Because I had a basic plot already written out. I had the setting, and the characters. Technically, that original story WAS my plotting.

I don't know much about this new story. At ALL. But maybe if I think of my first draft as my plotting, work out world-building and character development as I go, and write it relatively quickly, I can do up a proper plotting sheet and then open up Scrivener to do it properly.

I can't believe it's taken me so long to figure out that this is my process.

How about you? Have you worked out a process, or does it change for each book? Do you have another way of besides just "plotting" or "pantsing"?


  1. I usually have bits and pieces of scenes written out here and there, and I add them in as I go. But for the most part, I just write in order, without an outline.

  2. Yay to your figuring out your process! I'm still... figuring out mine.

  3. I've never really completed something so I don't have a process. Generally my first draft is my plotting...I just haven't gotten to the point where I can write a good second draft based on that first draft/plot...