Good morning writers, hope you’ve had a wonderful week.
My writing has been going well. I am on track with NaNoWriMo, and I think it’s because I plotted my story this time. It’s worked really well for me, although I know it’s not for everybody. That’s why I thought that this week I’d speak about the pros and cons of plotting your novel.
1. It helps you avoid writer’s block
Having a clear idea of where your story is heading can help you avoid writer’s block. Because when your ideas/inspiration starts faltering it can be really hard to get back into the swing of it. Plotting helps to keep you on track, and you’ll always have an idea of what to write next.
2. It can help you to foreshadow
Plotting enables you to plant seeds of foreshadowing. When you outline your novel before you start writing you should have an idea of how it will end, and any twists along the way. This way you can add hints and clues throughout, which will make for satisfying reveals and clever endings.
3. You’ll finish the first draft sooner
The main reason it took me so long to finish the first draft of my first novel was that I had to keep stopping to work out what came next. I often had to spend large chunks of time figuring out plot holes and deciding where to take the story. Having a clear plot means I am able to just write and write, until the draft is done.
4. It can help you spot plot holes
Plot holes are tricky to spot and trickier to fix. You’ll often need to re-arrange several aspects of the story to get it back on track. Outlining the full story before writing gives you a clear view of the plot, which gives you the opportunity to find problems before they arise.
1. Your story may become too rigid
When you have a plot it’s easy to feel as though you have to stick to it religiously. Doing so can make your story too rigid and formatted, which can leave it feeling clunky and unnatural.
2. You might spend more time planning than writing
It’s easy to get engrossed in your plotting, and this can leave you nervous to start the actual process of writing. When this happens you spend so much time plotting that you keep putting off getting started with the first draft. Sometimes you have to just take the plunge, and get the words down.
3. It might halt your creativity
Following an outline can keep you from allowing your creative mind to wander and explore the story. You’ll spend too much time focusing on keeping to your plot, when you should really be letting your inspiration take control, and writing whatever sparks in your mind.
4. You may struggle to meet word count targets
With a plot you may find yourself writing concise chapters. Because you have a clear idea of what needs to go in each chapter, you get the words down to match that without letting your fluid creativity bulk out the words.
There is no hard and fast rule to writing. You need to do what works for you. I have plotted this time round, and it’s working for me for all the reasons mentioned in the ‘pros’ list. However, I’ve kept the plot fairly lose, which gives me the freedom to add plot points, switch chapters around or completely divert of course. Write what you want to write, in the way the feels right for you.
Do you plot? Or are you a pantser? What’s your preference?
I’d love to hear your thoughts so do share them in the comments below!