Some exciting news! We are 15 days into NaNoWriMo and yesterday I crossed the 50,000 words mark. That may complete the challenge, however, my goal every year is to complete the novel, so I’m still going strong.
As I’ve been writing this year I found myself rewriting my planned ending in my head. I did some different things with my antagonist that I had not planned, and because of that the ending will be changing from what I originally wanted to do, but I think it will be for the better, and I think it will be a lot more fun.
I like to plan and outline things out when I’m writing a novel, especially for NaNo, when you’re on a strict time crunch, it makes things easier for me and keeps me on track. However, I like to be flexible when I’m writing. I allow myself to let the writing shape the story when need be. In the past, I’ve gotten colorful characters, new plot threads, and better ideas by being flexible.
I’ve known writers who stick to their outline like it’s a life preserver, not willing to let it go or try something that deviates from what they planned. I’ve known writers who don’t plan anything at all and just let whimsy take control of their whole story. I think both extremes have their own set of problems. I am somewhere in the middle, I like a good balance of outline and whimsy.
Question for writers: Where do you fit on the planning spectrum? Are you a planner, pantster, or a planster?
Advice for writers: If you are on one end of the extreme or the other, or even somewhere in the middle, try it another way sometime, even if it’s just for fun.
There is a day-by-day journal at my personal blog, The Paradigm, if you are interested in reading a more detailed account of what I’m writing and what experiences I’m having this year.