Life is messy. Blogging is also messy, it turns out (I’ve never had this many drafts in my life tbh). A lot of things are just REALLY MESSY.
This includes writing, and with Camp NaNoWriMo here, what better topic than the messiness of drafting?
Or the neatness, if you’re a plotter rather than a pantser.
For the uninitiated, plotters are the folks who meticulously organize their writing before drafting. They have their characters, scenes, research, and all that jazz laid out before they actually start putting the words on the page. Pantsers, on the other hand, are a delightful sort of improv artist. See, I’m convinced pantsers have absolutely no fear, because they just wing the first draft. They go in with minimal planning, and as someone who needs a plan just to structure my day-to-day goings-on, their ability to churn out a project without planning has me terrified and awestruck at once.
Personally (if it wasn’t obvious already), I’m more of a plotter. I like to have my settings and plot points lined up neatly ahead of me before I start putting pen to paper. But I’ve learned something in the last three years of participating in NaNoWriMo: I also appreciate being able to let bits of my outline slide as the story does what it will. A little mess and some unexpected developments I can live with, so long as the overall structure is sound before I sit down to work.
Anything else being messy, though? Nope. I live and die by the color-coded bullet journal and you can’t stop me. I schedule when I want to just do nothing. I need to know plans in advance because surprise outings are stressful. Though that’s also the introvert in me, clinging to my me-time. Still. The rest of my life leans heavily toward plotting. I think I’m trying to balance out how often a draft gets away from me and does something that wasn’t in the plan.
So anyways, WHICH ONE ARE YOU? Plotter to the core, with a glorious index card timeline taped to the wall? Panster at heart, going wherever the story goes because that’s how it’s done? Or maybe a plantser, a hybrid of minimal plotting without the total uncertainty of pantsing your way through?
And on top of that, show of hands, who’s doing Camp NaNo this month? I won’t be joining you (blame some research papers, oh dear), BUT I want to hear all about it! I want to cheer you guys on, whether drafting is messy or neat for you!
Good luck, and may your drafting be exactly as messy as you need it to be!