In my last post, I talked about task management. I think it is very important to know what it is that you want to achieve in the time you set aside for writing. A lot of writers have a habit of procrastinating. I think a lot of this is not knowing what to do next, or what needs to be done to achieve a goal.
I thought I was a pantser - someone who heads into a project with minimal planning, and so I rarely knew what I needed to get done. I have since discovered that whilst I like the creativity that comes from writing a story without knowing the full details, that is where I fall down. I stop, not knowing where I am going. So I have decided to become a plotter.
It makes sense, to have a road map of where the story is going to end up. And it solves the issue of poor endings, something which I have personally struggled with. Plotting and planning is where creativity is set free, and mistakes are less costly in terms of time.
Previously I would have thought that planning was a waste of my writing time. In my opinion, I could only say I am writing if I am increasing a word count. But I have read that many successful authors spend weeks, if not months planning a story. I am reading 'The Crime Writer's Guide to Police Practice and Procedure'. When I bought it, I thought I would dip in and out as and when I needed. But I soon learned that I needed a more in depth knowledge on the subject, so committed to reading it fully before I do the plotting of the novel. Reading the book is research. And as a result, I have plenty of ideas, not just for the current project, but for others. My story will be much better in terms of substance and plot because I have decided to work out the details before hand. And now, I still see myself as writing, even if the word count is not increasing. If I am working towards the goal of getting the story written, it is worth it.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And does it work for you?