Am I supposed to have a process? By Talia

With my first novel I was a total pantser.

The result? An okay book with way to many subplots and characters and no clear character arc. What? It was a lot of fun to write. And rewrite. And rewrite again.

Enter the outline. It terrified me. I really had to figure out the whole book at once? Couldn't I just make another pass at the darn thing?

I could. But how many times would I have to write the book if I just kept writing and trashing, and writing again? I was in danger of turning into the computerized equivalent of the guy who types page after page only to rip them out of the typewriter with disgust; figurative balls of paper covering the floor around my trashcan.

I don't know why outlining was so scary to me. Once I had one, I rewrote the second half of a 90K word novel in four weeks. By the time I started revising, I was no longer throwing things away, I was adding layers to the scenes that were already there. Scenes that needed to be there. No wasted effort. Nada.

So sounds like I found a process, right?

Not exactly. I'm still terrified of outlines. I have one for my current WIP, but I find myself deviating from it often. My MC always seems to have a stronger reaction than I'm expecting, and scenes happen too soon. But I'm okay with that.

Like I said, I'm a total pantser.

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