As a writer, I am by nature an organic writer--or a "pantser," if you will, meaning that I prefer to feel my was forward one page, one sentence at a time, with plenty of backtracking for course corrections.
By practice, however, I'm forced to be more of a plotter, to organize my ideas for the book long before it's actually written. This allows me to work out kinks in the plot, avoid writing down 150-page blind allies, and sell books on proposal (since I'm an experienced novelist). It's a huge time-saver, allowing me to figure out which ideas have a shot at selling before I've invested the six months to a year it generally takes me to write a book.
But sometimes, it flat-out doesn't work, and I find myself second-guessing all my well-laid plans, reinventing everything beyond the bare bones of the story, and panicking that my pantser-plotter hybrid--a Frankenstein's monster of an amalgamation--will never come to life. This is stressful enough under any circumstances, but when I'm already on a tight deadline and facing the holidays as well, it gets even harder.
Right now is such a time, and only one thing keeps me going, the knowledge that if I keep blundering through the forest, chopping at the bad prose and weak motivations with my blunt-edges hand axe, eventually, I'll find my way into the light. Here's hoping I can manage it before my deadline!
Do you plot ahead, or are you an organic writer? For those of you who work from a synopsis, how often do you find yourself changing your mind as you go along?
And Now, Rebuttals - And, no, I’m not trying to be “the voice of reason” with regard to the Hugos. These are my views; disagree if you like. I COULD BE WRONG — John Scalzi (@sc...
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