As a pantser learning to plan my writing has been difficult but if you are like me and you think about your story even when you aren’t writing then you are already planning.
YouTuber Jed Herbert had some great writing advice. https://youtu.be/zX4yGcKUtEM
Jed suggested taking 5 minutes to answer these questions:
1. What am I going to write today?
2. How does this move the plot?
3. How does this develop my character?
4. Why would this be someone’s favorite scene?
Other authors suggest writing a brief sketch of the scene before you write it. Answer questions like:
1. What does this scene do?
2. Is this information used in another scene?
3. Do I need this scene to make the story work?
My mentor Marni Graff ends her day by writing a note about what she plans for the next scene.
I start my writing day with a scene I’ve imagined in my head. If I can’t get on the computer to write, I will handwrite the scene in a notebook or on my phone.
If I am not sure where this scene will go in the story I might put it in a separate file and add it in when I reach that section.
You do not have to write in a linear fashion. You can start in the middle and sprawl out in both directions or start with the ending and work your way back up to the beginning. The latter works well for mysteries.
Stopping for the day in the middle of the chapter makes picking up where you left off easier.
I don’t outline but fast drafting is similar. You tell yourself the story in the fastest way possible. I do it in simple bullet points. After I have it down I go back in and start adding details.
If you want to know more about my method come join me at The Next Chapter Books and Art store 320 S. Front Street, New Bern, NC Saturday, June 17th, 3-5 pm. Cost is $20 and you must pre-register by emailing email@example.com.