Shallee at Life, the Universe and Writing is hosting a great blogfest where each of us shares our writing process.
I'm a pantster. I like to joke that the only thing writing an outline does is tell me one way things aren't going to end.
Okay, so I'll admit it's a little chaotic and not the most efficient way to write. I've written hundreds of pages that never made it into the final drafts of my books. I've had to backtrack here and there when I've gone off course, and many times I'm too in the thick of things to see the problems until I'm in revisions. Still, I wouldn't trade my method for anything else.
Here is why: My best plot ideas come from getting to know my characters and living their story with them. And, for me, the only way to do this is to write them into scenes and see what happens.
Now, I (as a self-proclaimed pantster) have been accused by die-hard outliners of outlining in my head. *Gasp* I will admit that I usually am thinking a few scenes ahead in my mind. And I usually do have some vague idea of a few things that will happen and where/how things will end.
And there are three things I do that could be of practical use to other writers:
Research- research, research. Great plot ideas can come from info, theories and real-life accounts of people who do and/or have gone though things your characters do or are going through.
Scene Lists- I usually write these about three quarters into a book when various plot lines are starting to converge, I need to accomplish many things at once, and/or the timing is crucial. They are simple. The scene/event, who is there, and what needs to happen. No more than a line or two of notebook paper per scene.
Writing a Future Scene- Scenes in the book often come to me out of order. I will write those scenes then sort of use them as a trajectory to head for. Revisions are often needed...new plot elements come up and/or the characters have changed some by the time I make it to that scene, but it still helps move things along for me.
What about you? Pantster or Planner? What methods do you use?