As mother nature dumps another foot of snow on top of the foot that fell earlier today, I find myself in my writer cave thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot about editing and the revision process and realize that much of the work I am doing now in these final edits on my novel could have been avoided had I been a plotter instead of the over-proud panster that I used to be.
Hubris.Plotting? For shame, that is stifling my creativity!
Notice that I refer to the pantser that I used to be. Past tense. I am so totally cured of that. That does nothing to help me with the novel that I wrote by the seat of my pants. *tosses the pantser badge aside without shame and joins the plotting crew.*
I have come to realize the value plotting can have on my writing. You get to the same places when you outline that you do when drafting, you just get there sooner. You can have the same conversations with your friends about the story idea if you plot it into outline or short paragraph form. You can visualize all of the points in your head, making notes and blurbing the dialog in the margins of your outline. You can even draft a few lines of description if you must. But the thing you probably won’t do a whole lot of is waste your time.
It is a hard realization relating to my work. Writing my novel wasn’t a waste of my time. I think it is finally becoming what it was meant to be, albeit through many drafts and revisions. That said, I firmly believe that had I plotted this one out I would have been finished with it more than a year ago. I would have been able to use my time more wisely and might be putting the finishing touches on my shiny new witchy novel instead.
Ah, its easy to be sure about what could have been. I don’t know if I could really say that I regret finding myself facing this realization. Because if I didn’t happen with this book, it might have happened with the next, or the next. So, either way, I am in a better place for it.
I’ve shown you mine, so the question remains: Are you a plotter or a panster?