It’s been a rough week trying to keep up with NaNoWriMo. I am past the 20,000 word mark and hope to make 25,000 by the time I go to bed tonight, if I want to stay on track. At the same time, I’m dealing with a cold and many other responsibilities too.
On the plus side, I’ve thought of a few great plot twists to add to my story, so it seems a good place for me to admit here that I am an “organic” writer, more commonly known as a “pantser.” This was a big surprise to me when I started writing seriously several years ago. After all, I teach writing, and I teach my students to make an outline. It makes sense, right?
But what I’ve found is that that my mind doesn’t work that way. Sometimes I do draw up a rudimentary outline, but usually it is out the window pretty early in the story because much better ideas occur to me when the characters refuse to obey me.
Furthermore, on the one occasion when I decided I would draw up a detailed outline, because I just knew it was a more organized way to do things, I ended up not even writing the story. All my creative energy went into writing the outline and then I was done. I had no interest at all in re-writing what I had just written, except in greater detail.
Let me hasten to explain that I always know where my story is going. I know how it starts and I know how it ends, and I even have some ideas about the middle as I start writing. But most of the specific scenes of the story are created as I go along, and often some plot elements surprise me. I actually love that.
So, off to see what my characters are going to do next!