Tag: Guest Post

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Outlining: Guest Post by Kate Korsak

Today my friend Kate Korsak is going to talk about being an outliner!

 

About Kate

Kate Korsak

 

Kate Korsak is a seventeen-year-old fantasy writer, who found her love for writing the she was eleven. Now homeschooled and living in Florida, Kate spends most of her time working on her current writing projects. A love for reading, writing, and God keeps her moving forward and working hard in hopes of one day publishing her works!

 

Planning (a.k.a. Outlining)

Plotting a story is time-consuming, and can make some writers uneasy, but outlining a story is the most organized way to write, and if you’re like me, it is well worth your time.

An outline is defined as, “a general description or plan giving the essential features of something but not the detail”, which means a plotter or ‘outliner’ is a writer who plans the important parts of their project before they begin, and add the detail as they go. You’ll spend hours, days, or even weeks planning out your project before you even begin to write. This may sound tedious at first, but for some people, we prefer to know exactly what we’re doing before we start to do it, and outlining your project will give you a path to follow as you write your story.

The first step to outlining your story is starting with an idea. My novel began with the idea of a young boy who accidently becomes king. I sat with the idea a bit until I had a bit of a story thought up. The boy finds a stone that makes him king and he travels around his world to earn the right to be ruler. I liked the idea, but I wasn’t ready to start writing yet.

With an idea of what kind of story I wanted to tell, I sat down and wrote out different ideas for where I wanted the story to go. Where does the boy travel? Who does he travel with? Who is he fighting against? With questions down, I began to pick the ones I thought would best fit the story and put them in order. I gave him companions of his journey and a good reason to fight against the current rulers. My story was beginning to come together, and I liked where it was headed. From there, I moved on to the next step.

After putting together a rough plan, I began working on the details. I started by spending a lot of time with the characters and their world, learning places, personalities, and backstories before I began on the story itself. When I was comfortable with my characters and their setting, I went back to my rough idea and started the outline. (I used an outlining method from Young Writers Workshop.) When I was finished, It looked something like this:

Opening Scene

In Gumbee Forest, Baldwin has his map, his brother, Hadwin, takes him to the caves

Inciting Event

Baldwin finds the stone but tries to take it back

First Plot Point

Baldwin leaves with Areli, Bagus, and Hadwin to Igozi forest

Midpoint

Battle with the Dragon Queen, Baldwin can’t destroy her staff, he gains her powers as ruler

Third Plot Point

Go to Volrod for help, find Bagus stole his stone from the princess of Volrod

Climax

Leave Volrod and are met with the Elitar army, Hadwin is sent home with the dragons

Conclusion

Loose to Elitar and are taken prisoner

 

As you can see, this story will continue in another book, but for now, this is the outline for the first book. All of the major points are written down and I know where I am going with the story and how I’m going to get there.

With your outline complete, you are ready to begin writing your story! Just start with the opening and work your way down the outline, connecting each plot point to the next until you reach the conclusion. It’s important to remember that, as you are writing, you may find that you don’t like the direction your story is headed and that’s okay! Just re-adjust your outline and continue writing. Your outline is flexible, and as a writer, you have every right to change it as needed.

Plotting a story isn’t for everyone, but it may be exactly what you need to get your story going!

 

Be sure to check out Kate’s blog! https://katekorsak.wordpress.com/ 

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Pantser: Guest Post by Rebecca Reed

Today begins a new blog series! We’re going to be talking about the different writers: pantsers (those who write without an outline), plotters (those who outline), and plantsers (an interesting mix of both pantsers and plotters).

Our first post is about pantsers, written by my friend Rebecca Reed! Before we get into the actual post, she made the perfect meme for this series!

Pantser vs. Plotter

 

About Rebecca

Rebecca Reed

Rebecca Reed is a former jockey and current Spanish teacher, track coach, drama director, and lover of God, animals, music, travel, and all things word-related. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband, Brad, Ziva (her huge, fruit-loving dog), and a multitude of cats, rabbits, and cows. She has 6 children (2 of whom are exchange students from Ukraine), and 2 grandchildren. Occasionally, athletes will adopt her as their “track mom.” She is addicted to audiobooks, is genuinely weird at times, firmly believes that words have power, and is blessed to have been given the gift of using them to communicate in multiple languages, and create stories designed to break chains and encourage positive choices.

 

Pantsers

I am a new writer. No. That’s not quite accurate. I am a long-time writer new to the “writing for publication” world. When I first felt God calling me to do more with my writing than simply write, I thought I knew what I was doing. Now that I’ve been at this for about a year, I realize I know next to nothing. That said, I am defining the term “pantser” as it applies to the way I write. Others, more experienced than me, may have a different bent to the definition, but this is how I see it.

 

A “pantser,” or “seat of the pants” writer, is a writer who begins a story or novel with little planning. Some people begin with a character, and build the story around her. Others begin with a setting or perhaps the basic idea for a plot. What would happen if a giant gorilla invaded New York City? Still others will plan the basic plot with a concise outline or map, write out details about their characters, maybe even plan out a small character arc. But when they actually begin the story, the characters take on a life of their own and the plot may take a complete left turn. That’s okay with a pantser.

 

Pantsers enjoy the pure thrill of sitting down to a blank computer screen and filling it with words the characters dictate. They may feel that an outline limits the flexibility and spontaneity they value. My first novel was written for a contest. I had never been trained on how to write a novel, so I did not intentionally sit down one day and decide I would write it as a pantser. I wrote that way because I didn’t know any other way.

 

Since then, I have discovered my ideal style may be that of a “plantser,” which is a hybrid between the true pantser who never outlines or writes out their ideas ahead of time, and a “plotter,” who plans each scene (or at least each major scene) prior to writing the first word.

 

My second novel began in the pantser manner, but not knowing the ending, created a really long and meandering saggy middle. I began to jot down ideas for scenes that would get me to my desired ending. I’ve tried to follow those ideas, but find that my characters refuse to go the route I’m asking them to take. I guess that means, at least for the time being, I remain a pantser.

 

The true joy of a pantser is that freedom to go wherever the words take you. Many of my best scenes have been ones I could never have foreseen when first conceptualizing the story and the characters. Characters are living beings inside a pantser’s head, and they do, indeed, take over at times. Yes, many times, a pantser is required to go back and rewrite, revise and edit more than a plotter, but it is up to you as a writer to decide whether you wish to spend the time up front in plotting or after the first draft in revising. In my opinion, a mix of the two is probably the most effective, and while I may become a plantser, it is unlikely I will ever become a plotter.

 

To find out more about Rebecca’s writing journey or her thoughts on other topics visit https://rebeccareedwrites.com/