Lucinda Elliot

Planning Your Novel for ‘Pansters’

Since I published ‘Georgian Romance Revolt’ in September, I’ve been suffering from intermittent writer’s block.
It isn’t the first time I’ve suffered from this. I managed to write my way through it the last time when I had it for as long, which was back in 2016 when I was writing ‘The Villainous Viscount Or The Curse of The Venns’ – and it resolved itself then. I managed to write my way through it.
I have written two short stories in the last few weeks, so the writer’s block isn’t total –but when it comes to working out what major project I want to write next – it’s definitely there.
I started writing a novel, but about 10,000 words into it (yes, another wasted 10,000 words: I’ve written before of all the thousands of words I have wasted over the years through never only ever knowing the beginnng and end of my novel ) I saw what faults there were with the plot, the motivations of the characters, and all the rest of it.
I am currently trying to work out a plan to remedy these.
I can see that part of the problem is being what is known as a ‘pantser’: that is, someone who writes without a plan.
But not knowing where you are going at all, is a bit different from having your actions to circumscribed. I’ve been exploring the internet for various discussions about this, and have come by some fascinating insights and good advice.

I was particularly impessed with these suggerstions on the website Now Novel which suggests how minimal plotting can circumvent panster’s writer’s block :

Common pantser writing challenges (and how to solve them)


Here’s an interesting suggestion on plotting using a long synopsis:


One here from NatNoWRiMo on the five story plot points and minimal planning for pansters:

NoNoWriMo #26: The Panster’s Solution to Story Planning


This writer in fact argues that if you use the process suggested here

then you can usually avoid writer’s block altogether…

…And as I would like to avoid it in the future, I am seriously thinking aout applying at least some of those suggestions.

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