Plotting: the Outline vs. Winging it

BunnyHello there. I am a plot bunny. I maybe be cute and cuddly and oh-so-full of great detail about your story, but I’m going to be a stumbling block to your stories, and I also lead to plot holes down the road. Don’t you love me?

For those of you who may be the “write as you go” people, you know exactly what I am talking about. You start off with a great idea and have so much inspiration that you begin to pen or type it out as much as possible. I had several ideas pop into my head that I had to rewrite sections of my last story for, and due to complete revamp, I’ve majorly rewritten my current FanFiction about three times now.

As for the other half of you who probably don’t experience this a lot, I’m going to say that you’re probably more of the type that like to plan out each individual step in a story before even creating the first word. I find that the best mysteries are always written this way, because you can slip in little bits of foreshadowing subtly in the earlier pages, causing an “oh-my-gosh-no-way” moment for the reader once they finally get all of the answers. For the novel I’m currently working on, I’m kinda branching into this more, because I’m usually a write as you go person, and I think I kinda like it. I have start to put together the actual story however, so who knows how long I’ll be able to keep plotting and refrain from simply writing everything I think of into the story.

Either way, both methods are very useful. For some people they stick one way or the other, for others they couldn’t really care less either way, and then as I mentioned, some genres of books kinda need the outlining method in order to work well. I’d encourage you to try either way to figure out what is best for you. If you just start writing and then inspiration dies out, perhaps plot out in the future a bit and you’ll get that spark back. If you want to make sure you have every base covered, plotting out the entire thing is your best bet, a bare bones sketch of the major events first, and then begin writing in the meat of the story.