Trading my outline for a pair of leather pants

I sat down today and reviewed the list of about 50 scenes in the outline I wrote before I started writing.  I threw out the ones that no longer fit in the plot, and the ones that don’t reflect the characters anymore and the ones that make no sense in the environment of the story.

I’ve kept seven from the original outline.  Four have been written.  That’s how much my story has changed since I started version two in mid-April.

For the last month, I have been updating the outline on the fly, changing it as things happened in the story that made future scenes obsolete.  At the end of every writing session, I would note things like “rebels make a mess of defenses, bad guys retaliate” so I’d have a direction to go for the next session.

Today I sat down and compiled all these notes and ideas for scenes that are scattered among my written pages, and I found, my god, I have a book.  And it doesn’t resemble the book I started with at all.  For example, I thought I could get away with not writing scenes from my antagonist’s POV. I can’t. So there’s another 5-6 scenes to add to the list, which keeps morphing and growing and shrinking as I work.

It’s not at all detailed.  It’s vague and simple and leaves plenty of room for movement.  And it’s working beautifully for me.

After all these years of thinking I was a plotter, I have a nasty suspicion that I was a pantser all along…and I just didn’t know it.

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6 thoughts on “Trading my outline for a pair of leather pants

  1. *pats Merrilee on the back*

    It’s all right, dear, being a pantser is far, far cooler. I’m a pantser girl, myself.

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