I used to be a pantser. I would have an idea and would just write. All I would have is the general idea for a plot, the opening page, the ending, or a scene in mind that I would write to. I was interested in the idea of outlines and brainstorming but it was always more fun to just write.
Then I started working full-time.
Suddenly I wasn’t writing as much any more. Half the time I would forget what I was going to write. I hate losing ideas. And then there were the occasions where I would get stuck and realize that I needed to lose about 15 pages to fix the problem.
I am now a plotter. It’s amazing. World building this way is so much fun. Coming up with jobs, geography, government, holidays and festival days. Characteristics of the people from each region, plus the flora and fauna. I might be addicted.
As for plot, I’ve managed to fix so many problems without losing hours of work and words. I feel like I know my characters better. Oftentimes I would forget the rules of the world I was writing in, or realize I didn’t have one for this particular scenario. Now everything is written down and I have a point of reference to return to.
I am still learning though. Helping me along is the master outline at Better Novel Project, a blog written by Christine Frazier. She breaks down elements of three best selling novels, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight.
It is amazing to me that as different as the stories are, they all follow the same basic structure.
This is such a huge help to me. It is good to have some guidance.