Pantser vs outlining

You guys remember a couple posts ago where I said I would be giving outlining a try?

Whelp I’m already confused. Ha!

I’m starting to feel like outlining would have been better with a brand new work, because now trying to outline the work that I’ve already gone through feels a lot like rework, but in a good way. Stressful.. but good.

So I started reading a suggested outling book called Take Your Pants Off, and initially I was hooked. It seemed like the book would be my answer to all the questions I hadn’t even asked yet. But the problem came up, why haven’t I asked these questions previously? I honestly feel like it might be because I wasnt properly planning.

Now I’m not taking a huge dump on people who choose to pantsers, just myself. Most seem like they’re able to make it work for themselves, I however am not one of those people.

Simple questions like what is my book actually about made me uncomfortable. I couldnt even fully tell you what my main character’s flaw was or her internal struggle that she has to overcome. Dont even get me started on all the unnecessary fluff I keep adding because I “liked it” vs it actually being relevant to the story I was trying to tell.

Problem now is that I’m going to have to go back through this version of my manuscript to axe more stuff, make foundations stronger, and make things more clear, if not to anyone else, myself. The author should have a clear definition of what the hell they’re doing and what they’re are writing, right? Yeah, cause I definitely dont have that.

My previous hesitation with outlining is that it felt too restrictive, but now I’m starting to feel like I might need just that. Now, there is definitely room to wiggle, but I am definitely at a point now to where I need to finalize all plot holes, character arcs, cast, character flaws, the purpose of each character, and constant progression without any pacing issues.

Have any of my fellow writers had a similar struggle to where they felt they were sort of playing constant catch up and that their manuscript just never quite good enough? What did you do to make it better? How did you make your writing better and bearable to read ?

As always I’m always welcoming more quality subscribers to my newsletter that goes out quarterly. I enjoy interacting with any of the readers that have read anything I have previously posted. I also have joined patreon which will be where I post finalized versions of my upcoming short stories following a few characters from my main novel.

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