Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I've been getting a couple of the same questions over and over since I posted about revision (some from last year, and some since yesterday), and I thought--hey, I should do a couple of blog posts on that!
So, here's the first and most frequent FAQ:
Plotters make organized outlines (hence why they are plotters). They have lovely index cards with themes and characters and whatever, or they use Post-Its to plot the novel, or they just have a lengthy outline that they can use as a map for when they write. Whatever. They have something.
But I'm a perennial pantser. When I write, I've got nothing except whatever ideas are floating in my head. I'm the most unorganized first drafter ever. I throw together words all willy-nilly on the screen. I start one thread, get bored or forget about it, and start another thread. There's a whole subplot in my current rough draft that I just dropped about halfway through the book.
But since I'm so unorganized in drafting, I become ridiculously organized in revising. Writing is a two-step process: writing and revising. I think every writer needs organization in at least one of these steps--either you have an organized way of writing and then you have a fairly simpler revision process, or you have an unplanned writing style that must then be organized in revision.
What do you think? Is writing a two-step process that requires one step (at least) to be organized? If so, where are you organized--in writing or in revising?