November 11, 2013

Monday Pep Rally: NaNoWriMo and the Writing Process



If you'll recall, we've changed up our format a little bit for these posts. Because we've all gotten so used to getting our thoughts down in 140 characters, we're taking the discussion to twitter! Every Monday, we'll be talking about our Pep Rally question on twitter and we'd love you to join in. Just keep an eye out for the #MisfitPepRally hashtag!

Happy MPR, NaNoWriMo edition! How are you Misfiteer NaNo-ers doing? (Yes, I love those of you who aren't doing NaNo, too--this can apply to all of us.)

Since I'm doing NaNo myself this year (and I've just gotten caught up--woohoo!) I've been thinking a whole lot about writing methods and what makes me the most productive I can be. At some point, I might have said I was a die-hard pantser, especially for something like NaNo. It's just so fun to discover the story along with your characters, isn't it? But as I've gone along, I've realized that this really isn't true at all. In fact, it's the absolute opposite. When I tried to pants earlier this month, I was finding myself frustrated by how slowly I was moving, and annoyed when I realized I'd taken a wrong turn plot-wise that I'd have to correct in edits. So I've officially switched camps.

Yes, I'm coming out and saying it. I'm an Outliner.

And not just any little outline. Since my initial frustrations with this story, I've made first a quick whole-story outline, then more detailed ones for each section of the book. Then, when I'm ready to write a chapter, I'll outline down to small beats in each scene. Far from stemming my creativity when I'm writing, this detailed outline is letting me move forward quickly, and just watch the story unfold through my characters' eyes rather than having to stop every few minutes and make sure that it's all making sense.

So that's my NaNo Writing Process confession.

What I want to know is:

What's your writing process? Is it different when you're trying to write quickly? Have you discovered anything new about it during NaNo, or at any other time in your writing career?

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