To Plot or Not To Plot

It’s been a while since I last posted a blog, I promise that I didn’t forget about you.

Many things lay claim to my attention in the course of the day and it’s very easy to tell myself that I haven’t got time to squeeze in a bit of writing at the end of it, although if I’m honest, it’s likely to have been the draw of the log burner in the living room during the despairingly long winter that’s kept me away from the keyboard. It’s far too easy to curl up on the settee with a book than try and block out the unrelenting dialogue pouring from the television while I try and create my own.

You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve given myself a talking to, plotted out a new book and am now fully ensconced in writing it. As you can see from the picture above, I have plotted the main points of the story and started work on the chapter by chapter outline. And here-in lies the issue – I’m not entirely sure whether this method of planning is helping or hindering me. I have learnt a lot from reading differing methods of structuring novels and I have used these in creating the plot, however, I’m not sure that I want to plan out every scene, theme and subplot in minute detail before I write, I think I’d quite like to be surprised by new characters and stories as they develop, just as I would if I were reading the book for the first time. Besides anything else, I find that I just want to get on and WRITE!

So what do you do? Do you write by the seat of your pants and see what your first draft throws up or do you plan every character trait, plot twist and character arc before you even start the first chapter? I think I will ultimately fall somewhere in-between the extreme planner and the panster, I like to know roughly where I’m going and who the cast is going to be but I also enjoy unravelling a character’s personality page by page, it’s a weeny bit more exciting that way.

So, now the frigid, dreary winter has given way to a warmer English spring, the log burner is off and I have taken myself away from the distracting living room to my quiet writing corners. I will produce an enviable number of words a day, mostly unintelligible I shouldn’t wonder, but it’s easier to fix something later if you’ve actually got it on paper.

Happy writing xx

About Nicola Auckland

Busy wife to one & mum to two. I've caught the creative writing bug, now need to practice, get awesome and write something worth reading. Simples.
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2 Responses to To Plot or Not To Plot

  1. Martta Karol says:

    I’ve been enjoying reading your blog, by doing so “sharing” with you similar thoughts and feelings about the writing process. That’s one of the joys of reading, I think–the finding of kindred spirits.


  2. Carol Warner says:

    Good luck! I’m an in-between plotter and pantser 🙂


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