Writing processes intrigue me.
How writers write.
Do they plot? Fly by the seat of their pants? Write to music? Write in silence? Have some magical trick to make words pour out?
If a writer's most commonly asked question is 'where do you get your ideas from?', a close second would be 'how do you write your books?'
Or more technically, 'how do you plot?'
When I first started writing, I was a plotter.
I played around with character charts, answering questions on my hero and heroine, filling in an art sheet with a basic story outline. It helped me, knowing where I was heading with a story.
Then somewhere along the line I changed.
These days, I'm a pantser.
Don't get me wrong, I still need to do a little pre-writing plotting. I need to know my characters but I focus more on their motivations and what drives them rather than knowing their hobbies and family.
I need to know they'll be in conflict and how, not their favourite car or their star sign.
So I jot down a page or two of motivations and conflict. And off I go. Flying by the seat of my pants. And the ride's exhilirating each and every time!
That said, I'm still intrigued by plotting.
And if I get stuck in the sagging middle or need clarification, I always resort to trusty pen and paper to roughly plot the rest of the story=one sentence to describe what needs to happen in each chapter to the end of the book.
There's something comforting in having those sentences, like signposts guiding me to the end. And it makes me write quicker too.
So back to the methodology of writing.
I've read resource books on plotting, have enjoyed them, but they scare me.
Similarly the index card method and breaking your story into acts with climax points and turning points. Fascinating but scary!
I like the uncertainty of not knowing where my characters will lead me.
I like giving them free rein.
But I swear my inner plotter is tempted by all that structured lining up color coded cards on a wall...
So what works best for you?