I’ll be honest. My writing process isn’t for the faint of heart.
Or probably even the sane.
I am not just a plotter but a Super Plotter. For most people, that would rank right up there with flying monkeys.
In my last post on my endeavors to write my synopsis (Synopses: Love the Burn) for my urban fantasy, From Olympus with Love, I was whining about how difficult of a task that can be. However, I would also like to point out that I have written my synopsis BEFORE I have written the book. If plotting gives you a rash, writing a synopsis before a book would more than likely make you pee yourself. I know it did me, and I am 100% plotter.
In another honesty moment, I have to admit, shortly after starting my synopsis, I stopped. Something was wrong. I couldn’t connect to the story. I couldn’t see it. I was frustrated. I had tried every varying type of writing process (pantser, pantsters, plottsers and plotter), and my process still didn’t feel right. I was fairly confident I was a plotter, but, if that was true, I had a basic enough of an outline I should just be able to type everything out in my synopses and then hop to writing the book.
At least, not for me.
So I stopped–beat my head on the wall a few thousands times–and asked what was wrong. According to what I knew about plotting this should work, but why wasn’t it working for me?
Over the years, I have learned one very important thing about myself: I am an instinctual writer.
“Hold your horses,” you say. “A.M., you just said you were ‘100% plotter.’ You can’t be both.”
I am a plotter in that I need a solid plot before I write a book, but it has to be extremely detailed and vivid. And the only way I can get that, I realized, was to do an almost completely free-flowing right brain outline with uber detailed scene notes (dialogue, emotions, conflicts, ect.). Sounds like an oxymoron, right?
Well, it worked!
After days of getting up at the butt crack of dawn, I ended with a thirty page outline of my book. Granted, it was a mess because it had been done all right brained, and I wouldn’t allow myself to interrupt the process to organize or doubt myself. I really enjoyed that part. I felt extremely connected to my story and my protagonist, Pandora. But being a plotter, I knew there were still too many unknown variables for comfort or a good story.
So I returned to my synopsis writing and, after multiple derailings by illness and other responsibilities, I completed my synopsis at nineteen pages. Overkill for some, but not for me. By the end of editing my synopsis, I felt very connected to my story and confident as a whole.
Does it still have holes, unknowns, and problems?
But that is what I have GREAT critique partners for. Even though I am a plotter, I recognize that I can’t know some things until I actually write the story. At this point, if I worked on it any more, it would just be perfectionist procrastinating…and that is a whole ‘nother blog post.