Monday, August 8, 2011

August Camp NaNoWriMo Update - Week 1: Slow But Steady

[image via writertopia]

Week one is over and I am beyond behind in my August Camp NaNoWriMo novel. And yet, I'm still feeling optimistic. Am I deluding myself? Maybe. But if there's one thing I've learned it's that I tend to stall in my writing when I don't have a clear idea of where I'm going. I used to be a complete Pantser when it came to writing, but participating in NaNoWriMo these past few years has taught me that having an outline helps direct the story and keep me focused on the directions I want to take my characters. It also helps prevent things like random deux ex machina and filler scenes from happening. I don't have a super detailed outline, but more of a rough sketch. One thing I do still wing is discovering my characters. I can never successfully complete a character sheet until -after- I've finished working on a piece.

So today I did no writing, but instead focused on filling out an outline. There are lots of outline systems out there. I would probably define mine as being a mix of The Snowflake Method and the outline system from Karen Wiesner's "First Draft in 30 Days." I feel better now that I have an outline to work with, and I'm going to continue working this evening to sketch out possible scenes.

If you're a writer, or if you were a writer, do you think you'd be a Planner, using outlines and planning scenes beforehand, or would you be a Pantser, using writing to "discover" your characters and plot, or a mixture of both?

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