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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keep It Simple

So I had this idea.

It has been growing and festering in my mind for quite some time now, just waiting to get out. But, I put it on hold. I had revisions to finish.

Still the idea grew. But, I had another manuscript to complete before starting a new one because that would be crazy right?

Well, I finally tied up all the loose ends and began to map out all the details of this new idea. I made out a rough outline, found pictures for the setting and characters. Began character sheets and filled out interviews for those characters.

Then I stopped. I can't work like this, I can't do it. I am ridiculously organized about everything else in my life and that's why writing has been such a great outlet. I love starting a new idea and being uncertain where that notion will lead. I love plotting and scheming as I muddle my way through each and every chapter.

So I set all of that hard work aside and just dove in and started writing. I ended up finishing a complete chapter in one sitting. Now I'm not saying all that research and planning didn't help, but giving my mind the freedom to wander where it may was just the medicine I needed to get through my little slump.

Now, I'll hang on to the outline and all the work I've already done, but from here on out my pantser ways are going to come into play. I'm glad I have all of the pictures and the outline to refer to in the event of another slump. But I'm removing the pressure of writing inside the box and now the ideas are flooding in.

So what about you? Have you ever tried something new in your writing? Did it work, or are you like me and stuck in your ways? (Not that that's a bad thing.)

18 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I try new things all the time. My 'writing moods' are pretty erratic so I just go with the flow. Sometimes I plan, sometimes I write without knowing anything. They both work equally well :o)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I actually didn't outline for my first manuscript and just had a general idea. I learned a lot from it, but had to revise it a ton. For my next one, I'm going to try the outlining approach and see if I can cut down the number of revisions. We'll see how it works.

Candyland said...

I'm VERY stuck in my ways which gets me in trouble often. I wish I could be more flexible.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Yay for new ideas. You know I'll be itching to read it. :)

I think it's good to go against the routine once in a while. I totally pantsed my way through my first MS. But now I have a half pantser, half outliner ways. I write down the beginning, middle and end of my plot. Then I join the dots as I write. I like to have a bit of flexibility.

But on the current wip, I did do a bit more chapter sketching ahead of writing, but only cause the characters wouldn't shut up. LOL.

Janet Johnson said...

Go you! Both my books have been written differently. I just go with how the ideas come. Sometimes that works out better than other times.

aspiring_x said...

i've tried to outline... but then writing feels like a chore! and my heart isn't in it. i think the best bits of my stories are when the characters take over and do their own things...
i don't know though.
getting pics of settings and characters and interviews and outlines- all that sounds really wise. but then- i think i would rebel like you against all those things! :)

salarsenッ said...

Wow. Was this your yesterday? Because I did the same thing. Swear. I had an idea, plotted a bit, and then hammered out the first chapter. It felt good to write something knew.

Good for you.

Rezden said...

Some ideas work, some don't. I like seeing where they go though, pass or fail. :)

Good luck with your writing. Look forward to hearing about it.

Elana Johnson said...

Finally! A writer who "gets" me and my non-plotting issues! Yay! And good luck.

Sondrae Bennett said...

I do tend to plot a little before writing but I've found when I'm really methodical and plot everything out, I don't like the end result. I usually leave the story itself to the pantser side of me. Glad things are going so well for you in your latest WIP!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I decided my last novel would be present tense first person. It was TOTALLY new for me since my first two had been past tense third person. Well, it turned out to be a blast! So much fun and such a great experience. I really got inside the mc's head and their voice came out so much more.

Diana Mieczan said...

Good for you...That sounds like a great plan:)
Kisses and hugs

Ps: I am hosting a charming scarf GIVEAWAY today, just in time for cozy Christmas!

RaShelle said...

I do exactly what you just did. I have the idea. I make the plans, the outline, the character charts and then I set it aside and write. It's almost as if I need the pre-organization - to sort of mull everything over in my brain - and then I like to pant. For my MG novel I wrote for NaNo, I did exactly this. It was amazing and I wrote a whole novel. I looked at the outline once or twice after the initial work. The cool thing is I have it for rewrites, if I want it. All the work is very important to me, but I didn't let it get in the way of my creative (ness). Does that make sense. When it comes to rewrites though, I know I'll be grateful. =D

Joanna St. James said...

This pleases my heart so much, you are taking a walk on the wild side, do you feel the rush of being a pantser? its exhilarating isn't it?

Chris Phillips said...

You... organized? No! Glad you got so much accomplished in one sitting.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I think this is exactly why I'll always be a pantser. Even though it's more *difficult* to write a novel that way, it's also a ton more fun. And I need fun!

I'm totally with you, Renae!

Amy

Abby Minard said...

Those are great ideas on starting a ms. A mixture of plotting and pantsing seems to work for me too.

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