Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Help! I'm becoming a PLOTTER!

Thinking about Thursday

In my Confessions of  Plot-First Writer  post, I confessed that I am a "die-hard pantser".  If you aren't into writing, that means I like to write without planning it out first. I just sit down with a blank page and start pouring out a story.

That is how I have always worked. I love the excitement of feeling the story unfold as it is playing in my mind. I don't really know any other way.

But, lately, I've been having these...urges. Feelings that I don't understand.

I want to lay out Storyboards  and make sure I have a proper character arc.

Who AM I?

I can tell you it all started with my shiny, new WIP (work in progress). Actually, it isn't that new. It is my NaNoWriMo for this year and it is already over 53,000 words. But, it is still shiny and I still like it. But, there are so many characters! And, they all keep tapping me on the shoulder and saying,

"Hey, I want to do ____ . Can you make that happen for me?"

The weird thing is in "real life" I am very much a planner. I have  a color-coded Google calendar that rules my world. When I used to plan workshops, I would walk through every step in my head from the minute the participants arrived until they walked out.

One of my favorite self-talk phrases when I am stressed is, "Okay, Dawn, take a breath and put it order. What needs to happen first? Then, what? And, after that...."

Does that mean I have been denying my true nature by writing without a plan or have I have been using my writing as freedom from my normal (over)scheduled life?

As long as I'm confessing,  I might as well admit that I wrote a synopsis before I started my last three manuscripts... Please don't think less of me.

So, it is possible to be a pantsing-plotter? If I dabble in a few story arcs or w-plots, is that a gateway to stick notes and whiteboards? Will that eventually take me to *shudder*outlining? If I go to the dark side, will I ever return to the exhilaration of my pantsing ways?



Laura Josephsen said...

I think it's totally possible to be a pantsing-plotter! I've always been inclined to be a panster, but there are times when I do better if I stop and layout some things and figure out plot points and character arcs. And then there are times I sit down to write and the characters are like, "Pfft, we're not following that plot point! Watch us do this instead!"

I've never made a thorough outline. The most I ever did was outline the basics of the first four chapters, because I tried and tried to pants it, but I was so lost and needed to figure out what I was doing. Then I took off and pantsed a lot again. ;)

You'll be fine! Really! :D

Dawn Alexander said...

Yay! Laura, it feels so good to know I am not alone.

This story just keeps growing and I feel like I need to chart it out then write. Such a strange concept for me!

Jessica R. Patch said...

I don't think less of you...but I'm disappointed. LOL Kidding! The more I write, the more I find I plan. I do use a huge wall-size board but I've NEVER written a synop beforehand. Heck, I hate writing one after!

Good for you! :)

Tressa Green said...

I'm an unapologetic pantser, but the one time I did plot everything out... I went nuts. I should take a pic of all my papers. (If I'm going to plot, I'm doing it by hand at least. hehe!) I'm most proud of the split timeline I created.

Being a pantser, I'll admit to writing character mini-bios and plot summaries, and came to the conclusion that being a hybrid creature isn't too bad. :)

C. A. Szarek said...

I have always been a panster, too. I would LIKE to be more of a plotter, so I don't think it's a bad thing. Go Dawn, go!