When asked the question - are you a plotter or a panster, in the past I've mostly been a panster. I get a seed of an idea, or better yet, a few seeds, and a character to start with, and I jump in and write by the seat of my pants.
That's how I wrote I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME.
That's how I wrote FAR FROM YOU.
That's how I wrote IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES.
Generally I have a rough idea of where I'm going, but not always. With CUPCAKES, I really didn't know. Things just came to me as I wrote, and fortunately, it all worked out in the end.
I have some drawer novels, however, that didn't work out so well in the end. And now that I'm trying this FT author thing on for size, I feel like I can't waste precious time on books that may or may not work out in the end. And yet, I really don't like outlining. It takes all the fun out of it for me. I want the characters to lead me where they may, and to whisper secrets in my ear as I'm telling their story. That just isn't going to happen in an outline.
So I was really happy to find THIS POST by C.J. Omololu, author of the YA novel DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. Here, she takes us through the 9 steps for plotting fiction.
This has changed my writing life! It allows me to figure out the important parts of my book but still leaves lots of room for stuff to happen as I'm writing.
A little over two months ago, I mapped out a story using this method and as soon as I finished writing out my 9 boxes, I went to work on a new verse novel. Last week, I finished it! And I LOVE IT!! Even better? My agent does too!!!
I don't think you necessarily have to do it before you start, but definitely after you've written the first third of the book, because it can help you make sure you have all necessary elements planned out. Just like anything in life, it's much easier to get to where you're going when you KNOW where you're going.
Have you tried this method? If not, do you think it might be something that could work for you?
~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career