1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Some tips for 'Planners- Pantsers beware

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jannert, Jan 13, 2016.

    I could never work this way, but for people who like outlining before writing fiction, this latest Writer's Digest blog I received in my email box this morning might be helpful. There are a few points that I've taken on board as well, although I could feel this whole process sapping my creativity down to nothing! But that's just me. Others might want to take her tips on board.

    I especially liked her question she asks herself at certain plot points in her story: Will readers expect this? If the answer is 'yes,' she looks for alternatives. Good point.

    http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/7-steps-to-creating-a-flexible-outline-for-any-story?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=wds-bak-nl-160112&utm_content=812469_WDE160112&utm_medium=email
     
  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Setting is normally an afterthought for me, so I found number 4 interesting.

    From the article:
    I'm writing something with a bit more dialogue than I'm used to. I was originally going to include different places to match the different moods. Reading that made me realize that I might also just want to have the moods of certain scenes change as the novel progresses, making for a tighter ship with less locations.

    Thanks for posting this.
     
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  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for posting. I almost always like the articles written by this author, but I hadn't seen this. I liked it plus it gave me an idea for a half written and abandoned ms :)
     
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  4. R.P. Kraul
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    R.P. Kraul Member

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    Although I'm not a planner, I do use methods three and four, as I need to know the players, and I also need to know where the action will happen. And at some point during the first draft, once the plot becomes clearer, I designate a rubicon for the end of each act, something a character must do, some threshold that must be crossed, to indicate there is no turning back.
     
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  5. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Nice article, thanks. :cheerleader:
     
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  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I like that idea. A lot. It certainly moves the story forward.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This may be just me, but this looks like a Typical Writer's Digest Article. They have to fill each issue with writing advice, so it's no wonder they're so repetitive and predictable. I find very little in articles like this one that applies to me because the articles' authors make assumptions about the kind of stories I'm writing. For example, my main character does not experience a disaster, unless you count his whole adult life, because he has no real idea how to achieve what he wants from his life. He's looking for something that might not even exist.

    I much prefer pantsing because assumptions like these don't apply. I believe it's possible to write a compelling story without checking all the boxes, so to speak.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm in your camp entirely, and could not imagine writing 'her' way myself. But her advice was interesting and different enough that I thought some of it might resonate with folks who like pre-planning. I especially liked the tip about 'will the readers expect this to happen?' That's a good way to spot clichés, isn't it?
     
  9. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I could halfway use it. On one hand, I can't begin to write if I don't know how the story's going to end. But I need to get into the actual drafting process before I can begin to envision all the scenes I'm going to need to get there, and that's when I note them down. If I thought I had to outline all that out before I even started, it'd make me sob with despair.

    @minstrel, I suppose the "disaster" in your MC's case would be whatever it is that finally makes him get off his butt and try to achieve whatever it is, whether it exists or not. Or the thing that disrupts the boring but familiar world he's built for himself, that he would like to get back to.
     
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  10. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    I storyboard so hard if someone put a gun to my head and told me to write three consecutive sentences on one sheet of paper I'd save them the bullet and spontaneously combust. Some of you people scare me with your cavalier writing concepts.
     
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  11. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    :superyesh: :superyesh: :superyesh: :superyesh: :superyesh:
     
  12. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have red part of K.M Weiland's book " Outlining your novel" and have so far found it kinda useful with some good ideas but, there are also some bad points to it. As far as I can tell, from sipping head a bit, it that there are no actual outline examples and she has a habit of using her books as examples a LOT. other then that I am enjoying the read for what it is.
     
  13. aj*colher
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    aj*colher Member

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    The most outlining I ever do is a single page of notes at the beginning of the file I'm writing in, just so I won't forget major plot ideas. All other outlining takes place in my head (usually when I'm trying to get some sleep). I find outlining completely pointless, because I see the story so vividly in my head, to write any of it down in simple language is wasting the time I could be devoting to writing it properly.
     
  14. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Interesting. I dig it. My Kiwi buddy does the same thing, keeps it all in his head then just writes.
     
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