Changing Plans #IWSG

Right now, I’m not insecure. I’ve been writing a lot lately. Well, a lot for me with my current progress. I’ve gotten down 18K in the past couple of weeks. It’s all in Isto.

I had to rework my plan toward the end of the book because I no longer liked the idea of the character leaving the palace because of a dream. But I knew I had to get him out somehow. My friend jokingly said, “And it’s not like you could have him step outside for a smoke.” I realized there was something he would leave to go see, something I had in the first chapter in a different POV. Wham-bam, problem solved.

Now, my friend is a planner, and I’ve been trying to curb my pantsing ways. I typed up my list of scenes, labeled each with which POV it was in, and then fitted them into chapters. So very proud of myself, I showed it to my friend. She’s said she doesn’t understand how my brain works, because all of my attempts at planning look like disjointed nonsense to her. I told her she would be able to understand this one, and showed it.

Her brow furrowed. Nope. Still no go. She showed me hers with her neat paragraphs and coherent thoughts. I looked at mine, which used single words and fragments at best. She pointed to a scene in chapter one and said, “Traitor isn’t a summary.” After more back and forth discussion, she found a word that described my way of thinking. Concepts. She reevaluated my outline with that in mind, and she said it made sense.

I did a little happy dance. She understood. That, right there, was an achievement in my book.

Have your friends and fellow writers said anything to help boost your confidence? If you’re a planner, do you use complete sentences? What small victories can you count today?

About Insecure Writer’s Support Group
You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

29 thoughts on “Changing Plans #IWSG

  1. My friends and peers have repeatedly pointed out to me that I finished (and published) a book, which is a huge boost because there are a lot of folks who are still struggling with that much.

    As for organizing, I pantsed my way through my current WIP and then wrote an outline after the fact, which was a useful exercise as it pointed out a bunch of holes and flaws. Unfortunately it has led to a ton of revision. One of these days I’m going I figure out to do the outline in advance and save myself some work.

  2. Yay for understanding from your friend! Isn’t that the best when someone else “gets you”? It sounds like you’re coming right along with your WiP!

    Yeah, if I do a rough outline, I write in complete thoughts. Even when I took notes in college, I wrote EVERYTHING out. I’ve never been good about just writing down concepts or one word to trigger a thought or memory. Lol. I guess that’s why I have scritch-scratch handwriting from trying to write so fast!

  3. Deviance from the norm is what make a story unique. Sometimes additional minds can conspire to come up the most interesting ideas.

    You’re fortunate to have access to supportive writers. My small victory today is getting out of bed to face another day of life. Complete sentences? Usually. Maybe not if I’m in a hurry. Or being lazy.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  4. If the outline works for you, then it doesn’t matter if it makes sense to anyone else.
    Crap, I’d hate for her to look at mine…

  5. I’m a pantser too, and I’m attempting to plot more of my current project. Yet it is chaos in my notebook. I think any long time plotter would look at it and faint over!

  6. cathrina constantine

    I rarely outline, and if I do, I guess it sounds a lot like yours. But like what Alex said, as long as you understand it, that’s all the matters!!

    I wish I had a friend to help me through me writing troubles. So that’s a positive! Good Luck.

  7. Emma Adams

    I never show my outlines to anyone because they only make sense to me. 😛 I sometimes write half-sentences and phrases as shorthand. It makes it a bit difficult to explain my concepts to other people, though!

  8. Yay for plotting! And you know…I plot like you do. I use a few words or just a sentence. For a long scene, I might use a few words and connect them with these /. Yup, that’s how I plot. There’s no wrong way to do it.

  9. Concepts, eh?

    I write in action beats. I try to focus on the up to down sway from the beginning of a chapter to the end, but don’t quite always achieve it. As long as there’s tension all the time (an unresolved question or impending doom), I’m totally good.

  10. Everyone has to do it her way! Whatever works for you…stick with it.

  11. Good for you for all that writing you’ve been doing! My writing process is kind of all over the place, but I’m slowly coming to accept that’s just how I work. 🙂

  12. Everyone’s process is so unique to them, it is easy to see eye to eye on these things. Do whatever works for you. Glad you got a lot of writing done this month. When are you going to start bouncing them off your IWSG crit group members? 🙂

  13. I want video of the happy dance. 😛

    I’m glad things are coming together for your story(ies). That’s such a good feeling. 🙂

    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again

  14. I’m trying to plot this time myself, and sentence play no part in my world either. Concepts is a good term.

  15. My outlines are short sentences, so I relate, and they’re constantly changing. There’s no point in me outlining more than a few chapters at a time. I have the large overall outline, but as to how I move from point to point changes. I sketch the chapter then write it. Know what happens before I finish it? It changes from the outline. lol I can’t help it. Glad you resolved your issue.

  16. I can’t write an outline to save my life, but it is awesome when both sides can understand each other. And I’m super happy that things are coming together for you!

  17. You made me laugh about the happy dance. Like others I would also like to see a video of that LOL.

    I am a diehard pantser – I have tried to outline again and again and it simply doesn’t work for me. But I do take notes and they make sense to me so I think I can relate to your concepts ways.

  18. You know about my small victories 🙂

    I’m a panster – all the way. So there’s not really any planning that goes into when I write; I think it’s awesome that other people or so organized, but I pretty much throw words on the screen and spend a few months sewing them together.

    I have pals (like you) who keep me encouraged and going. 🙂

  19. I’ll never be a plotter. The most I’ve ever done in the way of plotting is to write a line or two about a future scene that I want to be sure to remember. Sometimes it’s a complete sentence, sometimes not. I’ve discovered that to do more than that is a waste of time for me because the story often goes in directions I don’t anticipate. Glad you were able to work out your story problem.

  20. I agree, as long as it works for you, that’s all that matters. These days I’m a pantser. I can’t seem to outline at all. Wishing you the best.

  21. I think I’m somewhat of a straddler. I pants at the beginning, come to a screeching halt, then do a little plotting. In between, I’m jumping all over the place like some insane typing pogostick. My notes are terrible. Sometimes a chapter is summed up with a word, other times I’ve an entire sentence. There may even be some concepts, I’m a little scared of going to see right now.

    But I’ve seen people swear that pantsing is the way to go, and I’ve seen the gobsmacking detail some plotters come up with. Whatever works, you know?

  22. I’m a planner that plots out the story, although the process starts in my dreams and my head, then ends up as scene by scene notes – with space for diversions. Trouble is that means I have notebooks full of outlines, and character sketches… but very few finished manuscripts.

    Credit to you that you get inspired and get it done.

  23. Mm, sometimes complete sentences…but they’re sentences no one would want to read. =) My outlines are very messy. I normally just use them as a loose guide, and or jot down stuff as a way to get unstuck.

  24. Oog. I never show my plots to anyone, aside from snippets I post on Twitter because they make me laugh, because I don’t think anyone else would really be able to decipher them. I do use complete sentences, along with the massive paragraphs they make up, but there’s a lot of shorthand and references to other stuff I’ve written that didn’t work out and the occasional “I know what I mean” or “I’ll figure this out later”. >_<

    But I'm glad you're figuring out a way that works for you. It took me a while to figure out what works best for me, and it's still different for every book.

  25. Stephen Tremp

    Loni, I’ve gotten tremendous support from family and friends. They encouraged me much and I never would be able to write a book without them.

  26. I’m a recovering pantser as well. Sometimes I miss those days of gut-wrenching excitement and angst as I drove blindly, following my characters’ hearts’ desires and often landing in dead ends. But for the most part, a casual outline has now become one of my better friends.

  27. Ack! My comment was eaten! O_o I said something along the lines of being a pantser and that planning hurts my brain and that you should do whatever you’re doing because I love your writing. Or something. Also, “concepts” is something I should think on. Interesting…

  28. My best ever comment was a text from a friend who’d bought my book, and who said something along the lines of “You cow! How could you publish this during my exams? Today’s my final and I had to stay up all night READING YOUR BOOK!”

    I dedicated the sequel to her. 😀

    As for planning, I plan out the structure of my book before I start rewriting, and those usually take the form of “X does this. Y does that as a result.” and so on.

  29. […] as my cover model for the Cera Chronicles, including This World Bites, and the friend who neatly plans her chapters. I met her a little over two years ago when she joined my critique group, and then she started […]

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