Pantser All the Way
I’m a pantser by heart. Ever since I started to write fiction, I just dove in and wrote the story to my heart’s content. I let my characters show me the story.
For the longest time, this worked perfectly. Until I decided to write a whodunnit for a writing class. I got stuck and had to bend in real weird angles to finish the story. Needless to say, the story turned out dreadful.
Then I joined NaNoWriMo. Surely a story of 50,000 words cannot be written without a proper outline. So I outlined and wrote the words.
But how did it work out for me? Did it work out for me? And is it even necessary to plan ahead in works of erotic fiction?
Sit Down and Write
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a pantser. I just sat down and wrote the story as it came up. I did it with one-page stories as a kid, I did it with my longer work of fan fiction. Though with the latter, I would plot out sections.
Later in life, with my short erotica stories, I would mainly do the same. I would come up with an idea, and that one inspiration usually held the ending in itself.
The first time this set up failed, was with a whodunit I’d come up with in a writing class. I thought: I’ve seen so many episodes of Law and Order and CSI, of course I can do this. But I didn’t plan it, and I had to tie in a bizarre and inappropriate suicide. The story turned out horribly.
The longer my stories get, the more I get in trouble pantsing. Especially since when I start writing, I’m often turned on and I tend to mix the weirdest fetishes into the story, even when they’re not appropriate with the overall theme.
Outline It Is
So I started to outline. Every story that I’m serious about nowadays, I outline. Especially with the longer stories I flesh out the characters a bit, and I write out where I want the story to go. And, most importantly, how I want the story to end. So many times, my stories become stuck because the characters are set in the situation, and they have no way out of it. With a little bit of pre-planning, that can be solved, right? So all is well that ends well?
Happy Ending? No?
No. Unfortunately, I tend to lose interest in the story before I get halfway through. I don’t know if this really has something to do with planning. It’s hard to sit down and flesh out and write the story. This is probably more to do with my lack of focus and impetus.
Take, for example, my NaNoWriMo story. I had it all planned out, I knew where the story was headed, what the arcs for the characters were going to be. And yet I lost track of all of it. I neglected my schedule and wrote scene after scene, unrelated to the main story I had wanted to tell. And now the story is such a mess I don’t even know where to begin to fix it.
Meet in the Middle
Is pure planning and outlining my future? I don’t think so. It has removed some of the mystery that I used to have before. I’ll probably come out with a plantser middle some day. Though for now, I’ll continue with outlining my next novel. Writing an outline is still creative work. The process itself can be fun too, whatever the final product may turn out to be.