Posted in On Writing

NaNo Prep: Planning or Pantsing

I am a planner. I have been my entire life. I make plans then back up plans and I’ve even been known to make back up plans for my back up plans. So I guess you could say that I over plan.

In my writing I have found that if I have my plans fully set out then the words flow faster and easier than when I’m pantsing. If I know my characters and all of their backstories, they come alive on the page. If I know my world then it becomes pictures instead of words.

When I attempt to pants through my stories and posts the words stutter worse than a stalled car engine. The characters are zombies and the settings are wastelands. I end up spending more time worrying about the story than writing it.

Other writers have the opposite problem as me. When they plan their stories they find themselves too restricted by the plans. Characters sound forced and worlds become encyclopedia entries. When these writers pants, their words catch fire and light up with passion.

However most writers find themselves somewhere in the middle of both extremes. Part planner and part pantser, they find themselves with a loose plan that can change with the story. Perhaps they have fleshed out characters but limited plot. Or they may have a world but no characters. Too much planning and they are restricted; but too much pantsing and they don’t know what to write. So they hover in that grey area of the in-between.

None of these options is inherently bad. It is all in how you put together your final work and the method in which your words flow best.

And it is the words that count.

Posted in A.P. Roberts, Post a Day/Week

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada Day. Soon the fireworks will go off and I will happily be watching from the apartment window with my Sweety.

But until that time I am celebrating by finishing the planning for my Camp NaNo story. Rather than trying to write a completely new story, I’ve decided to go with The Sisterhood storyline that I started through Prompts for the Promptless.

I realize that today starts Camp Nano and I should be writing instead of planning. But I’m planning in a very lazy way and writing would take more time away from the celebrations. I can’t run the risk of getting caught up in writing and forgetting about the fireworks.

So, for all my fellow Canadians have a happy Canada Day. For my fellow writers who are taking part in the Camp NaNo challenge I wish you luck on your word counts.