From pantser to plotter

A few months back my WIP broke. Yes, it broke. I wrote myself into a big black corner and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I lost motivation and even though I’d force myself to sit in the chair, I’d end up on Facebook after staring at the screen for awhile.

I stared because I just didn’t know what to do.

I decided to outline and find out where I went wrong. I can’t fix what I can’t find.

I sat down with some of my writing group and came up with ideas that I needed to fill in those big blanks. I outlined my subplots and character arcs. I got irritated when I had something else to do besides write – which is often when you have a family. Yes, feel sorry for them, they deserve it.

Catharsis. It felt so good to finally be doing some work and OMG did it work. I don’t think I’ll ever be a pantser again. I’ve taken a page from the TV writing rooms – plot the hell out of it so you can hand your outline to anyone to write. I won’t be handing it off to anyone but I’ve learned that if I take the time to outline and plot my story out, then the writing comes a lot easier.

At the rate I’m moving now, I expect I’ll be done in a couple months. I also expect that with practice, I’ll only get faster.

And that’s how I fixed my WIP.

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Cheryl Murphy is Asian with brown hair in a single braid and a smirk.

ACES: the society for editing


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