Last Minute Plotting: Because I’m a wimp & can’t pants.

Alright, so I thought I was going to have to pants this year’s NaNoWriMo. My MC had only given me bits and pieces of the story, so when the calendar kindly reminded me that I had less than a week before the challenge started, I began to freak out about the in-between scenes (the stuff between the major plot points).

Here’s the thing, I am a plotter through and through. I like having a plan/map to guide me through a draft because I have an awful habit of writing non-linearly, which is a fancy way of saying I like to jump around. Last year, I wrote all my fight scenes within a week (I had a lot of tension to work out I guess). And the idea of not having that freedom scared me into finishing my beat sheet for my NaNo project.

For information on the beat sheet, you can check out my post on outlines here. And if you’d like to see what fresh hell I’ve cooked up for myself for next month, you can check out my NaNo Q&A here.

I know plotting isn’t for everyone. Some writers can just start writing and come out the other side with a finished, coherent MS. I am not one of those people, so I’ll be taking my beat sheet and expanding it to a heftier outline between now and November 1st. I know, I’m working at the last minute, but characters don’t always like to reveal their secrets. Side-glances at MC

But regardless of my inability to pants a novel (pants: write a story by the seat of your pants without any outline or plan), I’ve learned how incredibly useful having a MS’s blueprint is post-drafting.

In the past year, I wrote what is now book 1 of a [slated] 5-book series, revised it, sent it to beta-readers, demolished it then rebuilt it. During that demolition/rebuilding stage, I was able to look at my previous outline and build over it with something that may [hopefully one day] be worth reading. Having that reference point kept me anchored during the process, so I didn’t go off into crazy, hair-pulling, head:desking la la land.

Basically, this…

giphy

So instead of driving myself to insanity later (basically the equivalent of running away from cannibals), I will be last-minute outlining between now and November 1st, like that habitual little plotter that I am.

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

If you are doing NaNoWriMo, add me as a writing buddy here!

Happy Writing!

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6 thoughts on “Last Minute Plotting: Because I’m a wimp & can’t pants.

  1. You are not a wimp dear. You do what works for you and basically that’s what’s perfect for you. Don’t let anyone judge you for who you are, as a person or as a writer. You are perfect the way you are. Added you as a buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. No matter how much plotting, there will always be secrets to unveil and things to change. Plotting is signposting. Some people do more, others do less. I am on the less side but no matter how much of a pantser I am I still have a basic signposting inside my head even if it’s rough and vague. I think the fact you do what feels natural for you is brilliant because it means you can be creative in the way that inspires and suits you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t plot. I just end up veering off and doing my own thing anyways. I’m a die-hard pantser and if I attempt to be anything but a pantser I burn out. And it takes me MONTHS to plot. So good for you for doing it in a few days!

    Thanks for stopping by Writing on Vintage Typewriter!

    Liked by 1 person

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