So which is best? Being a plotter or a pantser? I really have no idea at this point, but I suspect I’m somewhere in between. I did a lot of plotting for nanowrimo. I won so that seems like a good thing right? I’m not so sure. Somewhere in the middle I lost my way. All my planning and I managed to get stumped? Yep. I made an outline, not a vague outline or a simple one. I made a full-out official looking outline (I hated it). I had a blank wall outside my bedroom door so I made plot cards and taped them up. I didn’t make a card per scene. I made 3-7 per scene. That I loved. When I got writer blocked in the face I looked through my outline and found nothing. I stared at my plot wall and was able to at least see gaps that needed filling and get some more work done. One things that was really helpful was a character sketch. I had written down everything thing I knew about each character, adding anything else I figured out along the way. Those pages helped me come up with what-if questions. Those questions are what got me back on track. Still, it was like a battle plan and most of my strategy went out the window after the first ‘really cool amazing new’ idea popped into my head. Basically the conclusion I’ve come to is I need some planning, but too much doesn’t work for me. Having a simplified outline is a good jump point. Writing character background stories is great for me too. My wall of index cards was wonderful. Even so, at heart, I’m a pantser. Most of what I wrote was unplanned. That’s how my mind works. I need a little organization and a little clutter to function and I’m perfectly happy with that.
That said, I’m sure I’ll change my tune when I really dig into revisions.