Plotter = plodder?

With NaNoWriMo right around the corner, I’m trying to do something a little different.

Well, that’s not true. I’m trying to do several things different. First, there’s the subject matter: I’m writing, essentially, a superhero novel — a young adult fantasy set in a (what else?) dystopian future. My only dip into the YA sea was a controversial manuscript that wasn’t entirely successful.

My plan for the new manuscript (tentatively titled World Breaker) is to write something I’ll be proud for my son to read one day. Of course, right now he would much rather chew on his board books than actually read them, but I still have hope.

But the biggest change in how I do things is this: for the first time, I’m going to try to plot the novel out. All the twists and turns, all the suspense, all of the challenges and changes. I want them all planned out ahead of time. It’s this change that makes me worry a bit about doing NaNo.

I’ve never plotted before. If you’ve read my suspense work, that may be hard to believe. I love high drama, cliffhangers, and things that just make the reader’s jaw drop. And frankly, I’ve always thought that it’s better to let your story develop organically. It makes the writing fresher — makes me want to get back to the page.

Plotting seems … too businesslike. It seems like it would take out creativity and spontaneity. But I’m going to try it, because the story I have in my head is too sprawling to try to keep track of when I’m flying by the seat of my pants.

We’ll see how it goes. Bring on NaNo. Seven days and counting


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