Planning: The Difference of Before vs. During

I am a planner. I plan the majority of what I write before I start writing. I have a general idea of who my characters are, what they are trying to accomplish, etc. I have all of this planned before hand either from notes and ideas that were sparked while I was reading a book on craft or in the general outlining procedure I follow when I’m starting a project. I wind up with a folder of notes, a printed draft of the three acts, sticky notes on that and in my reference books. I do all of this work to track where I’m going in my writing before I start writing and then when I start writing I set aside those notes and go at my project like a pants-er.

I do it this way because I don’t want my thinking-writer mind to get in the way of my creative-writer mind. I can’t be in the zone of losing myself in the weaving of the story to have to snatch myself out of it because I feel like I need to go back to check some notes or reference one of my books. This does present the problem of missing some things I wanted to add should my brain not be reminded of it when I go along. I take those instances as “if it’s meant to be in the story, it will wind up in the story.” This week I started the work of revising TS, my manuscript from NaNoWriMo 2019. I added a chapter I knew needed to precede the actual start I’d done in the first draft and started hacking away at the beginning chapters. What I’ve decided too is that I’m going to go through to do a quick chop, hack, add and then go back through to fill in. I haven’t gone at revising this way before but I’m excited to for this project.

This week my girls are on vacation, and I’m going to spend time with them. When I do sit down to work next Friday night, I plan on splitting my time intentionally between querying, community building, and revising. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😁

Does your process for preparing to work on a project match your process for actually doing the project?

Happy Writing!

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