So, I probably didn’t need this third post. But I said three parts, so I’ll write three parts. I think everyone cleared up the issue very well in their comments. Is it better to outline or to simply write the damn book? Well folks, the results of my highly scientific research (snort) are that neither is better.
What kind of answer is that? Have you been into the Cracker Jacks again? No, I’ve been off the Jack for six months and I plan to stay off. I mean that there isn’t a better way to write in general. The majority of writers I know are Plontsers. They use a bit of each method. Some begin with a very detailed outline and spend hours researching their characters, location, language, etc. but still allow their imagination to take hold should it demand to do so. Some just write as the idea hits them, and then at some point for whatever reason, they pause to figure out where the story is going.
Of course, there are extremist for both sides; Plotters who adamantly stick to their outline and Pantsers who weave a wonderfully sprawling mess that they happily go back later and rewrite. But for the most part we seem to pull what works for us from each method.
Thanks everyone for your input. I’m glad we could put this matter to rest. I don’t know about you, but it’s been keeping me up at night.
Plotter or Pantser? The best way is to Plonts.