Friday, May 11, 2012

The Other Approach to Plotting a Story

This week, Marcia Hoehne posted some interesting tips on plotting  (To Plot or Not) based on her reading of James Scott Bell. She discusses how it's important to figure out what works for you.

Now that I've made it to Novel #4, I'm finally starting to get a kind of system for plotting. I've always tried to make some kind of outline or summary first. I think it works for me. But it occurs to me that I've never really tried the other approach - the "fly by the seat of your pants" approach.

I have to confess, the whole idea of trying to sustain a story without any kind of outline scares me a little. But I also wonder if I can do it. Then I realized I kind of already am.

As a "warm up" to get myself in a writing mood, I started with just writing whatever comes into my head. But it's turning out to be another story. I have no plot chart, no character chart, no nothing except whatever pops into my head at the moment. And the ideas I record in my notebook as they bubble up at odd moments. I have no idea if it will develop into another novel, but I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Do you outline or not? Have you ever taken a serious stab at using the other approach? 


  1. I like to have the important plot points and then fill in as I go. At least that's working for this one. I wish I could totally outline it.

  2. Love your pretty green trees. :)

    I have to have an outline. It doesn't have to be detailed, but I have to know where I'm going. This is why I'm in awe of pansters. I don't see how they do it.


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