Hello, writers. I know I've said this before, but being a writer requires discovering your writing process. Among other things, you have to figure out whether you're a planner. My writing hero, Diana Wynne Jones, was not a planner.  I'm a planner. Not a good one, mind you. A sort of planner-and-then-drafter-and-then-plan-againer.

I've been drafting Jinx 3 since mid-April, and am about 45,000 words in. Many of them are words like

What is it you're trying to do here? You didn't plan this part. Never mind, skip it and go on to the scene with the werewolves and then come back and decide whether you need this later.

Now I've reached a point where things can go in one of two different directions, so I need to sit down and plan the ending before I write on. Among other things, I need to figure out how to get the right characters onstage for the ending while giving those characters who are offstage a reason for being offstage and a way to be involved in the ending anyway.

Whenever we talk about planning, I like to include a link to the Ingermanson Snowflake.
If you don't want to read all that, someone's synopted it here.

(By the way, a word of warning re step 8: Trying to sell a manuscript you haven't written yet-- let alone a manuscript you haven't polished to the nines-- is a luxury available only to the already-published. And then only if you're either sticking with the same publisher, or have your name appearing larger than the title on your covers.)

I used the snowflake method to plot Hope Chest. Nowadays I use bits of snowflake in my own bizarre and disorderly process... the bubble charts, the index cards on the wall, the colored markers, and the dozens and dozens of drafts.

I'd like to hear about your method...

Since tonight's topic doesn't lead naturally to a challenge, try this one:
Write a scene in which a character admits his or her undying devotion to another character. Two rules:

1. The scene can't contain the word “love”
2. The scene must contain the line “You'd better ask the brontosaurus to dance.”


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Are you a planner, or a just-write-the-thing-er?

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