Friday, April 2, 2010

Busy, not dead

Woah, has it been two weeks? Surely I've stepped through a wormhole or something, because there's no way I would have let that many days go by...

Well, rest assured, gentle readers, I am not gone without cause. Mostly I've been using all of my spare time to revise and rewrite the current WIP. Starting from (almost) square one sucks, but writing a crappy WIP sucks even harder. So I went back to the drawing board (literally) and started storyboarding. It was not fun, but it was productive.

What did I get out of it? Stronger character development and a solid story outline that leaves me enough room for creativity.

What did I learn? Seat of the pantsing really only works if you are going to sit down and write the whole thing in one go (which we all have time for, of course). But I've developed a new concept of pantsing: safety pantsing. That means building yourself a structure (like an outline) that you have the freedom to play around in when actually writing. It helps keep transitions smooth and moves the plot along without getting mired in unnecessary scenes.

My only time for writing comes in short bursts - a lunch break at work, a ride on the new metrorail, or a few captured moments at the end of the day before I pass out, exhausted, in my writing chair. When I didn't have an outline to guide me this writing method resulted in fragmented narrative and odd transitions. Now whenever I feel lost in the middle of an abandoned scene I can just refer to my outline to get me back on track. It's annoyingly helpful.

Look for more in depth posts in the coming weeks as I continue to wax enthusiastic about my new writing technique. Thanks for the patience!

4 comments:

beth said...

Dude, I SO understand! It's so hard to get into revising mode...

Lisa and Laura said...

Welcome back!!! Congrats on the writing progress! We're all about outlines that are completely subject to change. It really does help to have an idea of where you want things to go...

Jen said...

Yay on the writing progress!!! I think for my next novel I might try and do the safety pantsing but the pantsing so much fun it's hard sometimes!

Elana Johnson said...

Saftey pantsing??? Sounds like OUTLINING to me. *shudder*

But I'm glad it worked for you, and I hope it keeps working!