The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Reformed Pantser?

cards to help me organize my next novel...

I usually write creative nonfiction. Personal essays. Short memoir pieces. Novels are definitely not my thing.

However, over two years ago I began writing a novel for middle-graders. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo of 2016, alongside my middle-school students. Because it's historical fiction, I could fly by the seat of my pants. I didn't create an outline. I didn't do any pre-planning. I followed the timeline of the historical event (it took place over a two-day period) and it seemed to work.

(Now I'm shopping it around, hoping to snag an agent or publisher.)

For NaNoWriMo of 2017, I started another novel, this one for young adults. Since there was no historical event to help me pace out the story, the plot has floundered. There's lots of character development and unconnected events, but no true "story." I was frustrated because I had written around 25,000 words and nothing had really happened. 

Then destiny came dashing in. I was asked by The Muffin to review a book. After I read it, my opinion of planning and outlining completely changed.

This book is so user-friendly and presents an innovative way of helping writers organize their novel. However, there's plenty of room of room for me to pants around (write by the seat of my pants) as well.

I'm heading to a writing retreat this weekend. Hopefully, I will get enough note-writing done so I can do some outlining during the retreat.

A pantser becoming a planner... It's a miracle.