This week’s topic, PLOTTING YOUR BOOK
Its a question that many authors get asked: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Did that last one throw you? Don’t worry, it did for me too in the beginning. Essentially, they’re asking if you prefer to plot out your book, or, if you prefer to write by the seat of your pants - pantser - and just go where the story takes you.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea where I fell when I first started as an author. When I say I was adamant that I didn’t want to use plotting for my books, I mean it. I wanted nothing about writing to remind me of those school days where we would be forced to come up with a story and literally EVERY detail being torn up by the teacher because we didn’t follow the rules. I was worried that those same rules would force my story to be dry and void of the emotions and connection I wanted with my readers. Little did I know…
Thanks to more research and a lot of patience later, I took to looking into what everyone was talking about when it came to being a plotter - nothing against fellow pantser, but your girl needed some structure to her books. I listened to other authors - both indie and traditional - and learned what it really meant to be a plotter and to use structure when it came to writing, and how helpful it was to have all those aspects in place BEFORE you started writing.
Having been a pantser, I already knew how I wanted the story to go. How the characters would develop and how everything would tie together in the end. However, I will admit, that once I got my hands on a clear layout for a story and saw what was needed, I found that I could add more to my stories. With that visual I could see any gaps that I would have missed before. I guess that means I’m still a visual learner after all.
If you haven’t already, I recently posted a look of my new writing nook on my Instagram page and some of you might notice the blank white pages I have above my desk. These are in place so when I plot out my book and I divide everything into Acts (act 1-2-3) as well as sub sections like plot points and climax, I have a constant visual right in front of me as I write so I always know where the story is headed and what’s coming next.
This also gives me AMPLE time to use what I love the most: SCHOOL SUPPLIES! Yes, I was that kid that was always so excited to go back to school shopping and getting a notebook, pens, pencils, etc. All the things that would add to my learning experience. Having been a student for so many years, when I finished my Masters in 2018, I’ll admit, I was at a loss when September 2018 came around and I wasn’t joining my friends with registering for classes and getting supplies like I used to. Now I have more reason than ever to use all the supplies I have left over and put them to use.
So you can just imagine how covered up that board on my desk becomes as the story develops! And I love every minute of it!
The long and short of it all is, do what works for you. Regardless if you prefer plotting out your books, or if you prefer just being inspired and seeing where the story takes you and filling in the gaps along the way, if it works for you and you benefit from that mindset, by all means CONTINUE!
All the best,