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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has to be worth a look. Click on the watch on YouTube and there a link to download a free template.

EDITED 1Oth April. 2021.

I have posted this in response to threads posted from time to time when pansters who have said they would like to outline, or have tried, but find it difficult. It is not meant to be a post on the virtues of any method.

As for blogger Abbie Emmons who produced the video yes she has only 1 book published, but with over 700 reviews at an average of 4.7 stars, I'd take her advice over the blind leading the blind. Many professors of literature who teach in colleges and universities have no books published, but they are qualified to teach and give advice. She has many videos on You'tube that go more in depth to the craft of writing books, and there are always issues you could take with her on some subjects of the process, but on the whole the processes she puts forward are sound as a general guide. Any one starting out in a writing career would be well advised to follow her past and present videos.

 

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Seems like pretty good advice. It might be old news for people who studied lit and things, but for those of us who just kinda started writing one day, it's fun to go back and learn or at least think about some of these things. Thanks for posting this :) It's good to touch up the old approach sometimes.
 

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Sorry Decon, but from my point of view she is talking rubbish. When I start a story, it is either complete in my head and would definitely lose a lot by outlining or plotting on paper (or the computer), or I have a couple of characters and a setting and see where they go. They wouldn't go anywhere if they were not developed as I go along; they would just sit on the page asking what to do next.

I'm sure this is of use to someone, but her idea that it will save rewrites is also not how I see it. I don't do rewrites at all, only develop the story a bit on the second go round, like scenery, weather, clothes, etc and as I write historical, I might look up certain details like when a law was changed, what did they use for law enforcement in the middle ages, that sort of thing.
 

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Enjoyed the video and I am trying to become a plotter before my next fiction project, so thanks for posting.

P.S. Thought you were supposed to be on a sabbatical?
 

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I didn’t watch the video but I did look at the description and I must say there’s so many wrong assumptions there. From my experience, plotting comes naturally to pantsers. None of the novels I’ve written were outlined but they all managed to come together quite nicely in the end, with only minor issues for me to fix in editing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If you're outlining, you're not pantsing. Don't understand.
Exactly. You are doing exactly what she is saying according to your 2nd post, but you don't need the minimal notes typed out as you have it outlined in your head..

I think that the video is really for those new to writing without any study of literature who sit down and type without any idea of where to go. Writing isn't all about creativity and craft, she is in effect saying there is a process, which is exactly the words Dan Brown uses for his introductory video for his courses.

As the title says, it not how to pants, it how to plot for those who are pantsers in simple terms, and for those who wish to dip their toes into plotting with but who hate the process of substantial outlines.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I didn’t watch the video but I did look at the description and I must say there’s so many wrong assumptions there. From my experience, plotting comes naturally to pantsers. None of the novels I’ve written were outlined but they all managed to come together quite nicely in the end, with only minor issues for me to fix in editing.
I'll refer to what I say to dogslover above, apart from it sounds as though you have the knowledge to create those notes for the process in your head as you go which is fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
P.S. Thought you were supposed to be on a sabbatical?
Ha, yeah. I have an addictive nature. Good thing I've never tried drugs.:cool:

Anyway back to my sabbatical reminded of my favorite saying.

He who think as himself and being indispensable, should place their hands in a bucket of water, and on retracting them, stare back at the hole they have left behind.😁.
 

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He who think as himself and being indispensable, should place their hands in a bucket of water, and on retracting them, stare back at the hole they have left behind.😁.
That's a pretty good one :LOL:

I like these posts about craft/methods though. When I start thinking about the next story, who knows what will make sense? The story that I want to come out might make me need to look at what I'm doing and adjust. A pantsing approach might work perfect for the cozy story I'm doing, but maybe not for the big plot, big dig that I might find myself trying to write someday. I don't know. I just think these things are great to talk about. Having more perspectives and seeing more methods is like adding more wrenches to the set. Might need them sometime.
 

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These days, my outlining consists of:
  • Decide word count of novel.
  • Decide word count of chapters.
  • Make sure stuff happens every 2500 words or so.
  • Decide how often bigger things happen. (Usually every 10k).
  • Make sure that big stuff happens at the end.
Otherwise, my first draft IS my outline. I have ideas of what I want, and the characters, they always do unexpected things and I roll with it. Rewrites and editing don't take that much and I'm usually done in a few weeks.
 

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Sorry Decon, but from my point of view she is talking rubbish. When I start a story, it is either complete in my head and would definitely lose a lot by outlining or plotting on paper (or the computer), or I have a couple of characters and a setting and see where they go. They wouldn't go anywhere if they were not developed as I go along; they would just sit on the page asking what to do next.

I'm sure this is of use to someone, but her idea that it will save rewrites is also not how I see it. I don't do rewrites at all, only develop the story a bit on the second go round, like scenery, weather, clothes, etc and as I write historical, I might look up certain details like when a law was changed, what did they use for law enforcement in the middle ages, that sort of thing.
Interesting. I'm a pantsier too and I hardly every know where my story is going. I just start out with a plot and let the characters take me where they will. Stopping while I'm actually writing to add details slows me down. The only time I use a semi-outline is if the story needs to be in chronological order. McShane's Bride (The Dotsero Train Wreck)
 

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I'm a pantser. This is basically how I "outline."

Beginning: Main characters are at _ (location) and get caught up in __ (basic story premise).

* stuff happens *

*stuff happens *

Scene: characters have a run-in with a team of teenaged samurai and are being chased by them. Exciting chase scene with clever methods of getting away..

*stuff happens *

*stuff happens *

Scene: characters get separated at the Smithsonian and have to find each other. Each runs into problems and possible danger, but eventually find each other again and escape into the Metro.

*stuff happens *

*stuff happens *

Conclusion: characters finally achieve their goal and save the day or do whatever it is toward which they were working.


Basically, I just have a few scenes in mind, and have to literally write my way from one scene to the next.
 

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Thanks, Decon. I've written six-ish books at this point (they're not finished by any means) but every time I dive in head first I feel like I do it a little differently. I'm still figuring out my process so look at what other people do is interesting.

I bumped into resistance to outlining of any sort in my writers group. I get the impression some think if you have to outline that you don't have that X factor. I don't get it, because we all outline whether it's in our heads or on paper, ahead of time or as we go. And no matter how much comes to me before I start writing, the final product is nothing like what I jotted down or pictured in my head.
 

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If you are a pantser, pants. If you're a plotter, plot. There isn't a superior process.

I always recommend Dear Writer, You Need to Quit by Becca Syme in this case.

People who pants are often told to outline but there's nothing better about outlining. In fact, if outlining doesn't work for you, trying to make yourself outline will only slow you down.

I do a very rough outline and pants the rest. I guess you can say I'm a plantser. I hit the first few chapters, midpoint, low point, ending (I mean, I write romance, so the HEA is built in there). I think about the types of scenes the book will have given the trope, i.e. a friends to lovers book will have a lot of heroine not seeing how the hero is clearly into her, but I don't sketch out the details of scenes. I've tried, but I'm always in a different direction by chapter four. A detailed outline only slows me down.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I've been noticing an extra lot of writing advice cropping up online lately which is meant for pantsers but is really a veiled attempt to turn them into plotters. Why, though? Write how you like, people! (And this is coming from a plotter LOL).

And... another caveat... be wary of writing advice from 20-somethings who have a book (or less) to their name... they tend to make most of their money from YouTube and other non-writing streams. That said, Abbie and her ilk are sweeties and fun to watch, and they do hit the mark sometimes. I tend to value more experienced writers' advice, but that's just me 😁
 

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I thought the video was fine and basically geared toward pantsers who want to try plotting. It's not earth shattering information and certainly not better than Libbie's book on plotting. I also find it interesting that someone with one book out has positioned herself as an author expert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I posted this in response to threads posted from time to time when pansters or those new to writing, have said they would like to outline, or have tried, but find it difficult. It is not meant to be a post on the virtues of any method.

As for blogger Abbie Emmons who produced the video, yes she has only 1 book published, but with over 700 reviews at an average of 4.7 stars, I'd take her advice over the blind leading the blind anytime. Many professors of literature who teach in colleges and universities have no books published, but they are qualified to teach and give advice based on theory alone. Her videos are free unlike some famous-trad-published author courses. She has made it possible to watch and learn from the comfort of your home without signing up for expensive paid courses, though in addition to the videos, she does have a site authors can join for a subscription for a sort of mentoring with direct contact.

She has many videos on YouTube that go more in depth to the craft of writing books, and there are always issues you could take with her on some subjects of the process which are different to your own experiences, but on the whole the processes she puts forward are sound as a general guide. Anyone starting out in a writing career without the education side of it as to the nuts and bolts would be well advised to follow her past and present videos.
 

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It seems while there are purists on each side of this discussion: pantsers like Doglover on one side of the circle and writers who have an outline almost as long as the book on the other, but most of us fall somewhere in between. I've seen in these threads people who say, "I'm a pantser; all I do is scribble down a sentence or two for each chapter," and people who say, "I'm an outliner; I write a sentence or two for each chapter."

If someone thinks a different method would work for them and wants to try it, they should go for it, although I'll admit I am one of those couple of sentence outliners (per scene, not chapter) and trying a more involved method stopped me dead in my tracks. Each to their own.
 
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