Monday, December 5, 2011

Changing things up

A few weeks ago, I read this post by Rachel Aaron on increasing your word count as you write.  I don't normally care if I write 2,000 words, 200 words, or 10,000 words when I sit down, but the article intrigued me.

See, I am mostly a pantster.  Sure I know where I am going to start and where I am going to end, but the middle is filled with winding paths, backtracking, and dead ends.

With NaNo ending, and my word count not where I wanted it to be, I thought I would give Rachel's ideas a try- it certainly couldn't hurt.  As you know, I didn't write anything the last week of NaNo, but that didn't mean I wasn't working on my WIP.  In fact, I spent most of my free time thinking about each chapter and how to move from one chapter to the next.  I created chapter synopses, even marking some dialogue I wanted the character to use, so I could jog my memory when I sat down to write the chapter out.

As of yesterday, I have all the unwritten chapters summarized, waiting for me to sit down and take them from a simple paragraph to a complete chapter.  Will my word count improve?  Probably, but that wasn't my sole reason for doing this.  I found those pesky plot issues that stump me while writing and was able to work through them, fix the illogical things before they happened, so when I sit down to write, I don't have to spend time arguing with myself that this character wouldn't do that, or why doesn't she just do this- it is the logical answer, after all.  Those issues have been dealt with, and I am free to create.

How about you?  What kind of planning do you do when you write?  Would you change it up at all?
My friend, and CP, Fiona Claire is having the opening of her NaNo project critiqued over at Dianne Salerni's blog today.  Stop by and let her know what you think.


  1. I do zero planning. I have general concept in mind, a vague idea of where I want it to go and then write.

  2. Hi, Mary. Thank you for sharing the article. I generally don't watch word count each day. I set a page requirement. I write until I meet it - but sometimes it isn't my wip. It might be in my journal or notes for a future ms.

    Like you I'm a pantser. I like living out the story with my characters. But my current WIP is making me plot some things out and it is really difficult for me. Have any tips?

    Author of Concilium, available July 2012
    Concilium: The Departure, November 2012


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