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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To Plot or Not To Plot...That Is My NaNo Question

This will be my third year doing The NaNowrimo challenge. My first year, I signed up at the very last minute and just grabbed a line one of my daughters had given me during the previous Halloween, when she waited until the last minute to put her costume together. 'Witches Don't Wear Socks' was born. I didn't win that year, but in my defense, I'm a bit faster at typing now;-) (Only a bit.)
Last year, I decided to come at it the 'proper' way, and plotted out a murder-mystery with all the red herrings and a long list of suspects. I lost interest in the story two days into November and dropped out. I already knew what was going to happen. Did I mention I'm a pantser by nature?
This year, I have a rough - very rough - idea of a paranormal murder mystery. The protag is a cop but she also sees ghosts. Original, isn't it?
 Don't ask me why murder mysteries. I love them and all, but I don't know that I have what it takes to write one. Such intricate plot work and all. BUT, I came up with a new title the other day, one that I'd want to put in my WITCHES series. The Gangster Who Loved Me. Again, I have only a very rough idea to start from. Which one should I try to flesh out over the next week? Or should I just pants it? Follow my character into trouble?

15 comments:

kelly said...

I'll head up the pants team! It's so much fun to find out what happens as you go. Of course that leads to some really crazy shifts from the beginning to end that eventually have to get rewritten all to crap, but like I said, IT'S SO MUCH FUN!

Talli Roland said...

I say plot the major turning points, then you can fill in the blanks. Good luck, Cinette!

Bethany Mattingly said...

Hi :) I think you should do a couple paragraphs about each the beginning, the middle and the end. I would keep it rough though, so you don't get bored again. Good Luck!

Jolene Perry said...

Pants it. You can always outline and shuffle later. You'll be cursing while you do it (if you're at all like me) but I bet you'll get some good stuff down first!

Faith said...

I think it's a good idea to have a general idea of where you're going with it, but don't plot it out in so much detail that the magic is gone. I'm still trying to find my own balance of plotting vs. pantsing, and I'm pretty sure I'm a pantser as well... but if I don't have a small idea of where things are going, I can easily hit a brick wall and give up!

Elle Strauss said...

I'm not doing Nano this year, but I'll be writing alone with everyone. I'm a Pants/plotter, a little of both.

Heather Spiva said...

Hey! Nice to "meet" another aspiring fellow writer. I FINALLY got to your post through the "Great Blogging Experiment" through Elana Johnson. Awesome work!
Love your blog. Would love to --quite possibly--guest post, and in turn, you can guest post on mine!
Cheers to the future!
-H

Angela Ackerman said...

I say pants it. That's the spirit of Nano! Good luck!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Sondrae Bennett said...

I'd say if you're a pantser by nature, go with that. Don't try to change your writitng style (well except for the whole writing really fast to complete it by the end of the month thing). I'm not participating myself this year because I'm right in the meaty part of another story and don't want to set it aside, but I'll look forward to reading about your progress.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Hard for us to say... you know how you operate best! :) Last year when I won, I just had a very loose outline of the major plot points. Everything else was totally pants'd.

DLCurran said...

I'm doing a mix this year of plan/pants... but you can do the pantser thing and just plot one day ahead - just to give you that start each day. :) (Cinette, I lost you on my blogroll this week... or I'm blind and missed you when I scanned down - sorry Hun. Going to read your interview now)

Laura Pauling said...

If you're a pantser then you should pants. Maybe plot out a few turning points and then go for it!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm going to do what I did last year. I'm going to make it a challenge and just think up something when the time comes and write as I go. I did the same thing last year and made the 50,000 words--still haven't finished--have to fill in some middle parts, but I know what's supposed to be there.
So once again this year it's a seat of my pants challenge.

Lee
Tossing It Out

cleemckenzie said...

I'm voting "pants it." I'll root for you along the way. Good luck. Let us hear how you did when you come up for air!

lbdiamond said...

Ha! Love the cat pics!

I did NaNo last year--I'm a panster, so I didn't have an outline. Bottom line, I can write a lot of words if I want to, but I'm sitting out of NaNo this year to work on revisions, which take a looooooonnnngggg time.

Good luck! :D