The Secret To Creating Story Structure
Confessions of a Plotting Pantser
I don’t know about you, but when I write I enlist a variety of methods to get my thoughts on the proverbial paper. I found this article in my in-box which rather clearly outlines why *ahem* outlines are integral parts of the writing process (bad pun, I know). I also read this nice piece this morning, so I’ve had outlines on the brain pretty much all day. http://jamigold.com/2013/08/writing-rule-1-there-is-no-one-right-way/
Some folks might extol the virtues of pantsing over having a detailed structure to their story, but I challenge that. Any writer already has a clear picture of how their project will play out. They just might not take the time to map it all out in an outline. There are so many ways to get to the finish line. I wager that even the most devout plotter has a few moments where they deviate from their outline and fly by the seat of their pants. No one way is right or wrong.
For me, I’m a plotter and a pantser. When inspiration strikes, usually in the form of a scene, I immediately write down everything that I can. That then turns into character bios, which then turns into some sort of rough draft for a chapter or two. When I’m in my writing vein, I oftentimes scratch out some semblance of an outline for each chapter. I know what I want to happen, so I map out key points that I’d like to hit before I move on.
I don’t know about most writers, but I oftentimes see the end from the beginning (makes writing a linear story a real challenge, lemme tell ya). Because I’m developing an idea based upon something that hasn’t yet happened to my characters, I’m left to unravel the mystery of the story. I have no idea if my efforts are successful. The few wonderfully faithful readers that I have seem to think so. Yay me!
My first fic, Pure Perfection, was completely written on the fly. I plotted out later chapters, and then my goals for the sequel, however, doing so seemed to stifle the flow of creativity for those projects. The sequel was a sonofagun to get started and finish.
Although I like to have a plan of action, once I’m really in my writing groove I let the words flow and take me wherever they want. Most times what I end up with bears little resemblance to what I started with.
There is no one, absolute route to take to get your brilliance out of your head and into the hands of the masses.