So I said last night that I’d write about the first synchronicity tonight, but I almost didn’t because… well I couldn’t find my desk. Clearly it’s there because my netbook’s sitting on something but…
But I found it. And on it is the new issue of The Writer which arrived two days ago. The cover story? “Story solutions – Great tips on piecing together a story, from start to finish” by Linda McCullough Moore. It came at such a perfect time for me and that is…. synchronicity!
Last week, I reached a breakthrough in my writing when I (a) put my scenes on index cards (and taking them off the virtual index cards of Scrivener) and (b) webbed my plot out. And the writing flowed.
Sometimes you hear negative feedback against “pantsers” (those writers who write without outlining or planning first – i.e. “by the seat of their pants). As a pantser myself, I take that criticism seriously. And I have to ask, are they right? Am I less effective because I’m not planning out my whole novel before writing it? Can you really tell when a novel has been “pantsed” (this comparison/verbiage is so going downhill…) because the ending doesn’t work? Or is it possible that if a novel doesn’t end well, it could be the result of poor outlining, not the lack of an outline?
No way to answer that. All I can do is decide whether being a pantser works for me.
You know what? It does.
I alternate free-handing my story with minor outlining-like techniques, like webbing or index cards. The more I write, the more those outline-like breaks take on form and structure until I’ll have a full outline by the time I’m done.
What’s the point then, you might ask. Ha. That’s where this article was brilliant: “Life doesn’t come fully assembled; neither do stories. They most often come in pieces, segments, snippets.” Yes! Yes! That’s exactly it! My story comes to me in pieces so when I’m finally done writing, the fully formed outline will help me make sure that all those separate bits and pieces are in the right order.
And you know what I’ve decided? I love my process – makes writing way more fun and adventurous for me.
That’s all so nite for now.