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Four Key Reasons Planning a Novel Speeds Up Your Writing Process


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I could never plan.

 

I've written too much software to know that plans never work out like you want them to.

 

Plus, often times when I'm writing, new or better concepts will bubble up during the process of churning out the rough.  While I was writing Chapter 10 last Saturday, a new idea popped into my head.  I've been building off of that idea ever since, so when I pick up things next Saturday, I'll have the story direction straight.

 

It's a much better ending than my original one.  But if I worked to my outline, I'd have to discard it.  Or, it may not even come up, because I'm concentrating on writing according to the "specs" and not just freewheeling.

 

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One thing I've learned a long the way, is planning (outlining) does speed up the writing process. I don't see planning as rigid, where things cannot be changed, but quite the opposite, it's there as a guide, so that I don't go off of a tangent somewhere.

 

The way I see it now is, it's only the first draft. By the time I get around to editing it will look a lot different. 

 

Thanks, Johne!

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I agreed @Kazaza. That is exactly how I view planning my work.  My current WIP was planned out, chapter by chapter, but I have changed a few things and noted one major hole so that has been plugged in. That is what the 1st draft is all about.

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I know stuff has to happen so I dream how. Then I dream up all the bits that have to happen so that the stuff that has to happen can happen.  Some of us call this quilting. 

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4 hours ago, Nicola said:

I know stuff has to happen so I dream how. Then I dream up all the bits that have to happen so that the stuff that has to happen can happen.  Some of us call this quilting. 

Yes, I love this! This is what I do. Someone mentioned sleeping on it (which is what I would usually see it as). It gives so much clarity. I'll have to look into 'quilting'. Thanks  

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On 6/1/2021 at 11:38 PM, Jeff Potts said:

I could never plan.

 

I've written too much software to know that plans never work out like you want them to.

 

As a software engineer, I agree, but I still need to write the spec to get management approval!

 

The best parts of my novels were not planned, but at the same time, as my planning ability has improved, my writing process has sped up. The plannable parts get written faster, giving me more time to devote to the unexpected creative parts. Planning also reduces the time spent in rewriting.

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21 minutes ago, paulchernoch said:

As a software engineer, I agree, but I still need to write the spec to get management approval!

 

Normally, I'd agree with this.  But do you know how many times I went off and did my own thing, and came back with a near-completed solution that solved the problem, while they were still having meetings about the specs?

 

I honestly should write a book about my time in the corporate world.

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3 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

But do you know how many times I went off and did my own thing, and came back with a near-completed solution that solved the problem, while they were still having meetings about the specs?

 

Please don't encourage me! I am doing a skunkworks project on the side which I hope will be ready by end-of-year. We have struggled on several projects with having either homegrown or inadequate open source rules engines. I am coding my own from scratch, based on the Decision Model & Notation FEEL language. If I finish it, it will be guaranteed to have the crucial features we need and be easier to integrate with. It is not a small undertaking, though...

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