I got to talking with a few of my friends yesterday and we were discussing not only pantsing versus plotting but the differences in plotting styles even. I’ll admit for a very long time I claimed to be a pantser all the way. It was what worked for me, or so I thought. After the growing section of the manuscript graveyard, I came to realize that possibly that method wasn’t my best route.
Now, in the past, I’d tried plotting and I felt like the rigorous amount that was done staunched my creative flow. I still stand that I can over plot a novel into the ground as well. While this isn’t true for everyone it is definitely a factor for me.
So, I continued to play around with various plotting methods, different pantsing levels and such. After many years I’ve finally found methods that work for me. I use a for of Magnificent 7 plot points with my twist on it. Does it work for everyone? Absolutely not.
I say all of this because as you go through your own writing journey you’re going to become overwhelmed with all of the techniques, the do’s and don’ts, and so-called rules.
For a long time, these things consumed me. The whole if you don’t write every day you’re not a writer, bull malarky. If you plot these are the only acceptable techniques, garbage. Do this and not this…again, not true. Writing is a personal journey. Each step you take is yours decide what works for you and what doesn’t. Nobody else can decide that, not even your friends. While I fully support learning about different methods these are simply tools in your writerly toolbox. They aren’t hard cold laws you have to follow. Some methods will work for you, others won’t, and that is fine. Even when some method doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t make you less of a writer. It just means you’re that much closer to finding the methods that do work for you.
After all, this whole thing is trial and error or better yet trial and lesson. Don’t let all the errors get you down, look at them as lessons. You’ve learned something new about yourself and that is worth celebrating, so eat that piece of cake or dance like nobody is watching. You’re getting closer to learning all the things that do work for you.
Now, back to working out more of these plots for me. Remember L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.