Are You A Plotter or a Pantser?

pantser-or-plotter-writingWowza! Can I just say how super surprised I am this year. My story, Juliet, Missing is going fantabulous. I have just over 11K words already. What is so totally different for me this year is the fact that I’m not using an outline. That is a huge difference. I mean, you have no idea how significant that is for me.

For years I tried churning out novels but I would only begin them, never finding an ending. I always stopped midpoint and gave up. When I began my quest of writing The Prophecy of Three: The Oracle’s Warning, it was the first time I wrote out a long outline. I had something very every single chapter, from start to finish. Yeah, sure, the outline would change frequently as the story progressed but I still had that roadmap to the finish line.

In the midst of writing that novel with William, I embarked on 2013’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I already had more than 60K words on The Oracle’s Warning and felt confident in myself that I could write a fifty thousand word novel for that month. I stumbled through creating an outline and with its help, I succeeded in completing my first NaNoWriMo.Darkness Found.  It was a huge achievement for me. I’ve not touched that story since, but still, it was my first big WIN.

That big success prompted me eagerly back into my fantasy novel and by the end of the year, it too was finished. Most definitely unedited but at least it was complete. I now had, thanks to outlining, two completed novels. The following year I, again, trailed through NaNoWriMo with a completed outline and finished Housemaid Assasin for Hire. And then, last year I finished Coming Down Hard.

OMG! Four completed novels! Mine. It feels spectacular.

So, you really have to understand that going through this month without an outline is pretty scary for me. However, I believe it’s due to those four successes that I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve not nearly perfected the craft of writing, but I’m no longer a toddler. Instead I’m a teenager, testing the waters, sneaking out at night, exhilarated at the chance that I might get caught. I’m the teenager slipping into parties which require an ID to get access. I’m having the time of my life right now. seat-of-your-pants

And I’m at 11K words! The story is keeping me interested. In fact, I’m enthralled by my protagonist. I’m curious to see what she turns up, what terrifying ordeal she will meet with next. I’m looking for the clues, just as she is. I’m being haunted right along with her. And it’s only DAY ONE!

It’s really all very exciting. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I have to stay ahead of the game though. I’m being overly cautious because I don’t have that security blanket that comes with having an outline.

So, are you taking this challenge this year with an outline? If so, KUDOS to you. Are you a pantser this year, as I am? Hell yeah! Write on Garth. Write on Wayne. Stick with it. Ride the bullet. Ride or die man. Ride or die.



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