Most of my writerly friends do not outline or plot out their stories. They write with free abandon, letting the characters drive the story to a particular end.
Others I know write and rewrite an outline or plot line. They vary in terms of the details in the outline, but they need the outline to structure their writing.
Me – I’ve done both. My first two novels were written with very little plotting. Sure I had an overall sense of the main crisis in the story – a sense of where I wanted things to go. But I didn’t really think about the arc of the story. For me this was not the best plan. I wound up rewriting the book several times, needing to rework pacing and plot – things that might have been improved with a little outlining first.
My third novel, the current WiP, is completely different. Its outlined, the setting and symbols within the story are very specifically chosen. In short, it is a “deliberate” novel. Written better than my others by far, I think I have found the way in which I like to write. I still write with free abandon (gotta love Write or Die for that), but now it has a vague structure to it.
What about you guys? How much prewriting do you put into your creative process? Do you plot, outline, write with free abandon? Answer the poll and leave a comment – I am so curious to know what you guys do…