I am such an plotter! I try to be a panster, I really do. It just doesn't work for me.
While writing my first book, Givin' Up The Ghost (which took me two years to name, by the way), I sped along, and I mean fast...for the first three chapters. Then I hit a wall - a really hard wall. I didn't know where I was going.
I was forced to plot and write an outline. I didn't like stopping the writing process to write an outline, but hey, I was stopped anyway, so why not?
I faced the same thing in BuNoWriMo with my second book, A Guilty Ghost Surprised. Three chapters into my 50,000 words, I hit another hard wall. Again, I didn't know where I was going.
Perhaps it's the mystery book thing - you have to give clues and red herrings and
So I took three days out of BuNoWriMo to write an outline, and now I'm sailing along again because I know where I'm going. And the outline was fun to create and gave me a feeling of great satisfaction and even relieved my stress over not knowing where I was going. Pathetic, I know.
Here's what I did:
- Research (yes I had to research online for cases similar to mine - except the real life version didn't have ghosts, as far as I know.)
- Every scene is numbered and double-spaced, so notes could be added easily as I go along.
- I began with a list of victims, suspects, witnesses, clues, theme, summary and twist.
- I wrote a list of necessary scenes, clues and red herrings.
- I put in days and dates (my first book became very confusing because I didn't pay attention to timing).
- I color-coded. I highlighted dates in yellow, clues and suspects in red, paranormal/ghostly activity in green, love scenes in blue and mishaps in pink so I could locate and reference information easily.
- I circle the numbered scenes as they're completed.
How do you work? Plotting Outliner or Panster? How do you design your outline?