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The One about the Writing Process

The Writing Process is a topic I have seen come up multiple times. Every author has their two cents on how the writing process should go. Some are adamant that you need to be a 'plotter', and others like to be 'pantsers'. I prefer to put myself in the middle, using a term I came up with myself--'plonttsner'. It is a weird word, maybe even a little challenging to pronounce, but it certainly fits my writing style.

My point is that the process is different for everyone. Some thrive on plotting out every detail of a novel before sitting down to write. It makes them more productive. Others hate the constraint of following a carefully laid outline, it's like a collar choking the neck.

I haven't been writing long, but I have learned I am a blend between the two. I like to have a general outline with a highlight of what should happen in each chapter, however, I sometimes find that while writing I will change things like location or character reactions. I'm not going to insist things 'speak' to me, but sometimes I instinctively know what I planned is not authentic to a character or a scene location. This is was I mean by 'plonttsning'. I'm not drastically changing aspects of the book or character; I'm making it fit with how it feels in the moment of curation.

All of this to say, I still encourage having an outline in whatever form you choose--even if it's basic. The biggest thing I've noticed between 'pantsing' and 'plotting' is that 'pantsing' takes a lot longer. Yes, you get your ideas on the page, but there tends to be heavy amounts of editing that follow. I think it's a waste of my time to edit a lousy page just to give myself a page to edit. If it takes a day to create a general outline, I'm way more productive overall than if I just sat down to write.

So, don't get caught up in 'pantsing' or 'plotting'. Those are not the only two methods in existence for writing. Take a page out of my book and create your own system. Do what works for you, but the most important thing is that you do something. If you want to write, you must have the will to get it done, just like anything else.

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