Tuesday, October 20

Time Well Spent

Today in my GNED class (Controversies in Science), I spent the entire time taking notes... on my story. Don't worry, I wasn't missing much. Most of the class was spent with my professor getting mad at people for not doing their DNA paper. Since I did mine, I was excluded from the vast majority getting the lecture, which left me with time on my hands. So what did I do? I plotted. Unbeknown to my professor, it was actually a really productive class for me. Sure it wasn't class material per se, but I got a great deal of plotting done. I have a rough outline of the next 4 chapters!

Now, when I started this story last week-ish I decided to try something different. I decided to do a bit more plotting than I'm used to so that I will --hopefully-- avoid some of the snags I've run into before. No, my plotting isn't extensive, but I will at least know how the scene begins, what I want to happen in that scene and how it ends. The "filler" is just going to be whatever comes naturally to me.

So there you have it. I really hope this helps smooth out some of the issues I've had in the past. So far I really like it. Actually, I love it. I feel more connected with my story. And since I love making lists and being organized, I think this system will really work for me. We'll see! Wish me luck!!

So my question for you guys is... How much time do you spend plotting? Do you have an entire outline done before you start writing or do you plot a few chapters in advance as you go? Or are you a seat-of-the-pants sort of writer?


  1. I spent several weeks this summer making a very general outline of my WIP. I didn't actually start writing until my kids were back in school, though. I know all of the major plot points, I know the "sparks" that are catalysts for change, but the details are to be filled in as I go. I also have character sketches for the MC and the main supporting characters, but I'm finding that some are changing as I type.

    Good luck with your new story! Also, I gave you an award on my blog. Stop by when you have a chance to collect.

  2. I'm nowhwere near that organized. I have a two sentence outline on the anticipated books in my Honor series, but that's about all I generate in the way of planning. It makes for some unusual problems (ie. My most common problem is that my protagonists shut themselves somewhere safe--duh--and I have to figure out a way to drag them back into danger.) I usually can work them out without much rewriting, but I have firmly established characters built in my mind to rely on.

    I've always wished I could outline and plot things out, though. If I have an idea, plotting isn't enough. I have to sit and write it out of my head--no matter how long it takes.

    Your class sounds interesting--well, when you aren't getting lectured.

  3. plotting is very imp ...whatever u are going to create but....sometime unintentionally created things have their own beauty

  4. I wish I had a firm answer, but so far, it's depended on the book I'm working on at the moment. Usually it's a mix of plotting and pantsing that I like to call planstering. I like to have an idea in mind of where I'm going and write my way there, but then my moose throws a fork in the path and I'm off on a tangent. (And sometimes the tangent even works out.)

    I figure whatever way works for you, that's the best way. =o) Congrats on hashing out some words and being productive.

  5. I'm a panster with a very vague outline written down on paper. I've tried to write up a detailed outline and character sketches, but it felt like too much work. Now, I use a simple character sketch and plot as I go.

    Good luck with your new story!

  6. Melane- Yeah, I think change is bound to happen regardless of how much you plan! Aww thanks! I'll head over there sometime tonight!

    Wendy- Wow, 2 sentences?! You must have a lot packed away in your noggin!! And it's good that you have firmly established characters. I know what you mean about having to sit down and write it all out. Sometimes my notes look more like short stories! And yeah, the class is pretty good for the most part... except that my professor is a GENIUS and doesn't understand that we aren't at his level of brilliance, LOL! He's a nice guy though.

    Heavenly Muse- I agree. For the most part my plotting is very basic. Like, the last entry I have in my Ideas book is... "Have the scene start with Will (hero) in the carriage with his 3 oldest sisters. In the carriage behind them is his mother and two younger sisters, as well as a companion. He's thinking about Katherine (heroine) and wondering why he was invited." See, very basic. I only get really detailed if its an important scene and I can't spend the time to write it down right then =]

  7. B.E- Planstering? LMAO! Oh, new favourite word FOR SURE! My moose is the same way, always changing my plans. Thanks! I hope to get loads more out this weekend =]

    Jen(n)- You know, I can never make up my mind... one "n" or two? Who knows. I suspect I'll always change it up =P LOL! Yep, plotting is a lot of work. I think that's why I don't do much of it either! Thank you!


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