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If you write fiction, do you use an outline or seat of pants?

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I like to write and allow the story to unfold and a friend of mine says that she thinks that it would help my writing if I really planned it out. She's not a writer but she's read everything that I've written and I appreciate her responses.

I've tried using an outline and I think the writing seems stale when I do that.

Are you a planner of a seat of the pants writer?

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I'm middle of the road. For a long time, have thought of the major characters and done a minimal outline and taken it from there. I just recently finished "outlining your novel" by k.m. Weiland which totally sold me on majorly outlining your story and brainstorming every possible outcome and idea. That way when ready to sit down and actually write story, you are 2/3 of the way there already.


However, for my latest story I'll be doing it a bit backwards though. Once finish first draft of Blue Steel, going to use her suggestions to help me edit it and totally flesh it out. Will certainly try her ideas for the new story that sparks my imagination and see how it goes.

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I'm more of a pantster. I do more work with my characters and have a general idea of plot. For this years nano I did more plotting than normal. I still changed it. I have to really get into a story before I can see every option.


I like to have defined characters, throw them together, and let their personalities work.


ETA: I probably do more plotting in my head, running story lines in my head, but I don't write a lot of them down beforehand.

Edited by elegantlion
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