I’ve written on this topic before, but I wanted to get into more detail about why rather than about the style itself (as seen in this post). I’ve always been one to scoff at well-known planning methods (such as the Snowflake Method), since they generally require me to alter the way I think or to dream up some detail I usually don’t imagine until at least halfway through writing the first draft (OR DRAW THINGS I DON’T WANT TO DRAW BECAUSE I SUCK AT DRAWING). My resistance to established methods kept me hovering between being a pantser (here’s a definition) and planner for years. I was never fond of throwing caution to the wind and just writing whatever feels right, but I also didn’t like the idea of having a rigid structure.
While writing the first draft of Coldfire, I started messing around with a dot-point list of events I wanted to occur a few chapters ahead of where I currently was. It was messy and often the events were irrelevant to the main plot, but it was an outline. Sort of. I later started writing my messy outlines sooner in the writing process until, last year, I wrote the whole thing out before I started writing the novel. Since then, writing without coming up with a plan in advance makes me nervous and I often end up floundering in a tangle of scenes that dig their heels in and refuse to be written. So I guess that settles it: I’m an outliner. In a way. I still prefer a degree of fluidity in my writing, since I have an annoying habit of only discovering who the characters really are about halfway through a first draft (or, in the case of Coldfire, halfway through something like the fourth and then the fifth and then the seventh).
I’m not sure this post is even making sense, since it’s three in the morning and I should probably be asleep right now but I’m strangely hyper instead. What I’m trying to say is I now prefer to plan out the events of my novels before writing them but am too much of a FREEEEE SPIRIT to stick to a rigid outline. And that’s okay. I seem to be doing okay without such restraints.