You are going to hate me for saying this, but pantsing slows down your productivity. I know you die hard pantsers are saying “Nope, not me. I am super productive. And I need my creativity to flow, I need room to create the adventure as it unfolds, I need it to happen organically.. No outlines!” Trust me I know exactly what you are talking about, and as I promised in the title I am not suggesting an outline. I too was a pantser for years. But hear me out…if you are this productive now, think how productive you would be if you were able to avoid pages of unusable material, or worse that trap when you write yourself into a corner and have to write yourself back out…come on you know it’s happened. It’s happened to all of us. What if there was a way to keep these
time consuming dead ends from derailing you without making an outline?
for detours. But, having a view of the trip at your fingertips it makes it easier to get back on the road after your detour and headed back to your HEA.
Like I mentioned, I used to be a pantser, and am still completely incapable of creating an outline. But when I stared making road maps, I ran into a lot less dead ends and getting lost (and trust me, I was the queen of getting lost, because I tend to ramble as you can see from this post).
So what is a road map…exactly what it sounds like…for me I take a big sheet of paper and but my initial conflict on a post it note on one side (point A) and another post it with the resolution on the other side (point Z). So now I know where I am starting and finishing my journey. I add another post stating the secondary conflict next to the first, and do the same at the end. These are beginning plot points. Then I start adding random points of interest I plan to visit, post its with the things I can envision like that first kiss very short where when how kind of info. The nice thing about them being on post its is the map is fluid and can be changed to adjust for the inevitable ball of twine or whatever tourist attraction you happen upon along the way. Not everything has to be on the map when you start. This process has made all the difference in my productivity. It is not time consuming, and has saved me from the dreaded sagging middle a few times because you can see it coming.
Added bonus…By the time you finish you should have a nice chronicle of your journey, which can be translated into that dreaded outline that so many publishers ask for where you submit a partial. Ah ha!
The best of both worlds, a pantser with a plan. I can’t wait to hear if it works for you as well as it has for me.