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Start With the End in Mind

Part of this solo show is dedicated to talking to you writers out there, OR, to the would-be-writer who is trying to figure out how to get started. It does matter how you approach your book/project. Most often it is the plotters who start with the end in mind. Let’s talk about the options we have when planning a book:

Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” or a “plantser”?

Plotters plan out their story either based on character arcs or events in the story.

Pantsers tend to just write as they go, feeling their way through a story and not planning too much ahead.

Plantsers usually incorporate a combination of the two.

I tend to be a plantser with a little more bend toward plotting. I like to call myself a “puzzler”. I plot out the book but then end of finding things need to be shifted, changed, added, deleted and I feel like I’m putting together a puzzle…”puzzler”.

If you have “pantsed” things in the past and have found yourself leaving your project out of frustration I would recommend trying to plot out your story. I used to want to write by the seat of my pants and really “feel” the story I was working on but found myself so frustrated and almost lost in the process. In the plotting process I found direction for my story. I start with the end in mind: “Okay, my characters need to get to this place”. Once I know that, I can list all of the things that need to happen from start to finish and begin to plug them into some sort of structure. Once that structure is in place I can start writing into it! I think this is a good way to ward off “writer’s block”. I think people get stuck because they don’t have a clear vision of where they’re going. Character development is important to this point as well. The better you know your characters the easier it will be to write for them.

Creating a solid foundation by having the end in mind and knowing your characters well should help your writing flow.

In non-fiction you can start with the end in mind: what is that one thing you want your readers to take away from your book? For plotting, just determine all of the points you want to make in the book then write into that. Your outline can be as long (or as short) as you need it to be.

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