Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tottering Regarding Plottering

About a month ago, I came across this post of W.M.Morrell's.  She introduced me to the concepts of plotters and pantsers.  I loved it. As you can see, from the comment I left, I was (mostly) a panster for Shattered.  I loved just sitting down and letting the words stream from my fingertips.

But sometimes the stream was more of a trickle... sometimes all I found at my keyboard was a dry riverbank - with a few puddles here and there. Because I didn't know where I wanted to go next. I got stuck. There were more than a few weeks in which I didn't write anything at all.

This is why I've decided to outline my next project. (For which, by the way, I just came up with a very cool concept... more on that later)

I'm a fan of Writer's Digest books... I peruse their online shop often.  The other day I came across First Draft in 30 Days.  A few clicks of the mouse and it was delivered a couple days later. 

As I'm sure you surmised, the book offers a 30 day plan for outlining a complete novel.  Apparently, the outline should be so comprehensive that the first draft will be practically written at its completion. 

So here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to follow the 30 days plan and see where it takes me.  I'm not going to do the 30 days consecutively - it's the holiday season and my sister's here for 6 weeks!  Plus I'll be editing Shattered at the same time.  But I will blog about each day as I complete it from the schedule.

The book seems really thorough.  However, I have no clue if it really works, I haven't read reviews or heard anything about it... and don't tell me if you know one way or the other - because I'd like to go into this completely unbiased!

Wish me luck!  Day 1 will fall sometime in the next week or so :-)

♥ me


  1. I've got this book too! I bought it after I had already started my current WIP, but I want to use it for my next project (whenever I can get to it.) I'm so interested to see how it works for you:)

  2. Good luck! As a global thinker and total pantster, the thought of such a detailed outline scares the..., well..., pants off me. Yikes! I'll be looking forward to your progress with it :)

  3. Some author interview I read a while ago mentioned that he wrote a 160 page outline for a 400 page novel, or something like that. Really? Whoa. That's a lot of outlining.

    The thing is, when the outline's so comprehensive, where's the room for the serendipity? The characters haring off in weird directions? There's gotta be a happy medium, right?

    Here's hoping you find that happy medium, good lady. Have fun editing and outlining, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Good luck! I look forward to seeing how it works for you. And I'm so excited you already have a new book concept. What a thrill!

  5. I got this book free at last year's NaNo's Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco.

    I went hear a some writers speak a few years back. Two writers whose work I admire (Ron Carlson and Brady Udall) were asked whether they plotted or let stories flow. Ron Carlson was very much of the "let flow" school and Brady Udall was very much of the "let's plot" variety at last for his book, Edgar Mint.

    My take-away lesson was that it would be good to try the flowing (putting your characters in weird situations to see what they'll do) because I get stuck when I plot, but that I could always get good results from plotting when the idea is right. I'm still trying to practice the let things flow method.

    It's good to challenge yourself and I, also, am interested to hear how it goes for you.

  6. Thanks honey. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    The book sounds intriguing. Look forward to hearing about your progress. Good luck :)


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)