What I Learned About Plotting

I should probably be writing my next book right now, but at 900 words short of 50k I seem to be struggling. I thought a blog post might get things those creative juices flowing.

I see the plotting vs pantsing debate a lot and I recently discovered something for myself. Maybe it’s just the way I write and maybe it’s common knowledge already but I thought I’d throw this out there.

I write character driven stories, years ago everything I wrote was plot driven but I changed it up when I started writing grimdark fantasy.

I’ve been plotting for a while now and I really like this method for character driven stories because I don’t plot every detail about the character’s personalities, I only plot the events, I don’t even specify exactly who does what at those times. This allows me to learn about those characters as I’m writing, I get to discover their reactions to the events, how their relationships with other characters develop (or break down) and I get to really dig into those finer details about what makes them tick, what’s in it for them and what their endgame is.

The other thing I like about this method is that it can still be fluid. If I don’t like parts of the plot or they don’t fit a certain character, it’s not impossible to change it further down the line. The problem with pantsing for me was that I found I had a lot of chapters which added nothing to the story, no matter how important how important I thought they were. I’d rather not write a 150k story if 60k of it needs to be deleted when I edit. Since I’ve been plotting, I don’t delete anywhere near as many words during edits.

When I plotted my last book: Beside the Rock and Cloud, I really wasn’t expecting the emotional journey it took me on. I also discovered a couple of character arcs in Between the Rock and Cloud throughout the plot.

Each to their own, I’m just glad I found out why I like to do things the way I do them and thought I’d share my opinions. Anyway, back to those 900 words

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