Outlining VS Pantsing, Again

I once heard a talk by a lovely Kansas SCBWI member—whose name I wish I could remember—about Walter Dean Myer’s process. It involved lengthy and detailed outlines.

At that moment, I wondered if I’d ever be a good writer.

Trouble is, I didn’t want to give up the freedom of pantsing. The interesting discoveries you make when you just let ‘er rip.

I’m starting a new story and this time, I’m making the effort to get the bones in place, first. With the caveat that I’m still free to run wild and crazy when belching out my first draft.

Two memes for the price of one.

Two memes for the price of one.

I hope the extra time spent pre-loading the manuscript makes me write faster. And still gives me room for those Aha! moments.


Because that’s what makes it fun.


About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on April 6, 2015, in writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m with you in the pantsing corner! I have tried different versions of outlines but, really, the best way of “outlining” for me is to free-write perhaps a page or two of what I think is going to happen in the story. That way, I have some sort of destination in mind but it definitely gives my characters and the plot as a whole chances to surprise me. 🙂

  2. Having some sort of destination in mind–I totally agree, Kris. With room for mayhem to explode. 😉

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