Some believe that plotting everything out first- characters, settings, conflict, climax and ending- destroys true creativity. That it limits where the characters want to go. Some say ‘pantsing’ it can lead you too astray from where you began. Example: Story begins as a horror/suspense with a dog, ends up a comedic romance with a pet monkey.
I’ve always been a planner. Not just in writing- school speeches, work presentations, and my first 3 manuscripts were completely outlined before I started writing. I needed the road map to keep me on track. My safety net. (Though I refuse to admit I have attention issues. Ooh, Reese's Peanut Butter cup!)
Two months ago, I did something I’ve never done. I sat down and wrote what came to my brain. No plotting, no character sketching. I ‘pantsed’ ten chapters without stopping.
And I freakin’ loved it!
Scared a bit too, thinking the writing would be horrible, the pages full of back story and wandering motivations (and some of it was). But it was damn fun!
And I ended those chapters with the same characters I started with. No road map and I cruised along the highway with the convertible top down. Wind in my hair. No ponytail.
I'm now around chapter 12 and struggling a bit. Not sure how much further I can take it before I give in to my plotter-side and at least put together character sheets. But it’s felt good to go with the flow of my creative side.
Who’da thought it?
Have you ever tried both?
Consider this peer pressure… Ooh, another peanut butter cup!
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