Just a quick post to say how sincerely glad I am I decided to use NaNoWriMo to experiment with the idea of using an outline. If you follow the blog, you know that usually I write as a “pantser” (from the idiom “by the seat of one’s pants”), which takes a bit more time in the acutal “writing” phase of things. Usually that’s fine, because I’m not worried about cranking out 50,000 words as fast as possible and at the very least in 30 days.
NaNoWriMo is a WHOLE different story. I figured outlining would keep me on pace, so I made one. Yesterday, I was writing and feeling bored and stuck with my scene: protagonist sorcerer Zate has been captured and is stuck on a slave ship, and well, there was only SO much I could do with what he was thinking in the moment before I realized, “I’m dry. Got to take this in a different direction now.”
Had no idea what to do, though. Turned to the outline and–lo and behold– I had plotted a flashback that, based on Zate’s train of thought ahead of time, made perfect sense. It was a great way to not to rush pacing, reveal some needed info about the bad guys (whom he knew as kids at school) and also to get away from the boring, “I can’t do anything interesting with this guy tied up and aching from a pretty severe beating” present of the moment.
I don’t know if I’d have come up with that if I’d been writing this novel as a pantser. Maybe not right at the moment I was writing that scene, and certainly probably not in a timely manner. I doubt I’ll continue to use outlines after NaNoWriMo, but I’m really glad I took the chance to try one out this month. It’s totally pulling through for me.