Posted on October 19, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Do you outline your novel? How much outlining do you do? Do you use a program? Notecards? Pieces of torn paper or napkins?
In my normal daily writing, I tend to be a planner, plotting, outlining, note cards and post it’s. I used yWriter up until recently when I have been messing around with Scrivener a little. Not sure what I will be using for NaNo – yWriter or Scrivener. So planning is something that comes naturally to me.
But when it comes time each year for NaNoWriMo, I tend to go back and forth between outlining & planning and then doing the whole wing it by the seat of my pants kind of thing. The first few years (four I believe) I just sat down at the start and wrote and wrote and wrote. Slept a little, had some dreams, added some of those elements into my novel and then wrote and wrote and wrote so more. There was no outlining, no structured planning. And I’ve won NaNo several times that way – the problem is, those are the novels that need the most tweaking, the most editing, the most help when it’s all over. Those are also the novels that continue to sit with little done to them because they come across as such a mess to me.
Last year and the year before, I took time to plot and outline. I’ve used both the snowflake method, storyboarding as well as mind mapping. I’m usually more successful if I use the snowflake method or just create a basic outline/storyboarding.
I’m honestly curious, which are you? A Planner or Pantser? Does it change come November?
A couple useful articles I came across while researching outlining methods:
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