I’ve always prided myself on being a pantser – writing by the seat of my pants – and still think it is the most magical way to get a first draft down. Writing what the characters tell me to write, as they tell the story of their lives, is energizing and usually not aggravating. It’s the stuff afterward that troubles me: the editing, polishing, rewriting, etc.
A couple of writing classes and reading of some published author’s blogs and sites have given me a new appreciation for the outline. I spent some time today creating a “Novel Template” loosely based on the three act structure. The thought of sticking my novel into a template was off-putting at first, but, after working at it for an hour or so, I discovered new pathways that made so much more sense than my original story. Since I was on my first draft anyway, I knew I would have rewriting to do. That does not bother me.
Creating an outline or filling out a template not only organizes the story after the first draft is down, it helps with brainstorming before the fact. If I am going to create a true career out of fiction writing, I need to produce quality product quickly. Being organized can help me do that.
Besides working the template for my novel “Shroud Work” today, I brainstormed and jotted notes for a paranormal romance novella and found two markets for short stories I need to check out more.