Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Plotting Out Novels: Do You or Don't You?

I am currently working on a short series of books for one of my all time favorite clients. Due to confidentiality, I can't tell you his name so we will call him...Lamar.

Yeah. Lamar. I like that name. Maybe I'll use it in a future novel...

Anyway, Lamar has a fabulous idea about a series of books and has asked me to write them. The only problem is that he would like me to outline the chapters in each book prior to writing them. Now I say that is a problem, because it's very different from the way I normally work. Not that I can't do it, but it is more difficult for me. I'm grateful that since I have worked on several other projects with Lamar that he tends to be understanding about my temperamental, artistic side and doesn't get freaked out if I have to make changes to the process of writing.

I'm used to having an idea where I can see the beginning and the ending really well. The middle may be murky, but I know it will become more clear as I work. Writing hard and fast is usually the way I accomplish getting the story down.  For me, the story has to go on its own course a while without a lot of prior planning. Then I go back and write a synopsis of what I've done so I can see what works and what doesn't. That's the outlining phase and the part where I can set down more specific details about what else needs to happen or what must become more clear.

This is the way I work best.

Yet, I think as a writer, it's important to be open to change. Who's to say I'm not missing out on a whole new process that could work even better for me?

So, I'm curious, fellow writers. How much plotting do you do prior to actually writing?

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