Lesson 8

29 Jun

How to Plan Your Project Without Killing Your Story.

I came to writing a relatively short time ago so haven’t written much. Starting with NaNoWriMo in 2008, I wrote 50,000 words – it wasn’t a story because I had planned only a couple of scenes. Later, I took this through Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course. Almost finished it and I got a book out of that experience.

From this I learned I’m quite happy being a pantser. However, I could see that writing thousands of words only to bin them later was perhaps a waste of time and energy.

Time to write is in short supply and has been for some time. So when Holly started her How To Think Sideways Walkthrough, I joined in and decided on a short story – because 7000 words would take less time to write than 90,000.

Being a pantser I felt exceedingly suspicious of doing much in the way of planning before starting to write. So I was totally amazed, bowled over, stunned, fascinated and even gobsmacked to find the process Holly took us through was fun, got my Muse excited and throwing out ideas like confetti and got me energised!

I’m now proud owner of a plot outline with 10 short scenes; characters I’ve grown to love; a dog who started off with a question mark but has now taken a solid role in the book and has a personality. I was enchanted with the way the story changed in my hands – in a controlled, good sort of way. Usually I can think of all sorts of stuff but it means the story can go in one of a number of ways and I find making a decision difficult. This process has been very different.

The icing on the cake, or perhaps the cherry on top of that icing is that I can’t wait to start writing this story 😀

So this is a first for me – a story with an outline. I found giving a title to each scene was odd and did it although it seemed pointless. What I found really interesting was that the one scene which was very muddled and actually needed splitting into two scenes, was the scene I could NOT think of a title for. As soon as I had sorted out the muddle, a title for the scene followed.

Awesome course, Holly.

If you’re not already familiar with Holly Lisle’s courses then why not check out her page


Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Lesson 8

  1. Pardes or Cloistervoices

    July 25, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Oh good, I’m glad you are still excited and haven’t killed your story with planning. I’m right behind you with a new novel project and being a panster, I was fretting.
    Hey I can’t wait to hear about the dog character.
    Pardes from HTTS

  2. Prue

    August 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Pardes. Nice to hear from you 🙂

    Life has been hectic but I’ve carried on writing even though abandoning my blogs and the forum. I’ve finished my short story and love the characters. It’s a romance through and through with a hint of mystery.
    The dog is a Golden Labrador called Jess, who helps rescue my heroine.
    Next comes revision with HTRYN.
    Then, out to a magazine to see if they’ll accept it for publication.

    Good luck with your new project! Don’t forget to blog about it 🙂


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