Plotting vs Organic Writing ~ Lynley Wayne: Outside the Margins

Join us as Lynley Wayne goes Outside the Margins.

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Plotting vs Organic Writing

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Have you ever read a book that left you scratching your head because the author made illogical leaps from one point to another? What about one where the story was well written, but the character or characters fell flat?

On the other hand, have you ever read a book where you emotionally connected to the character, yet the storyline wasn’t as good as it could have been, or even nonexistent? How about one where you find yourself forgetting that you’re not the main character?

Odds are the authors in the first two examples are what people refer to as plotters. They like to have a roadmap laid out beforehand, so they know exactly what to write. The problem with this is that they leave very little to chance. They will take illogical leaps in order to make sure their character does X, Y, and Z, instead of listening to the character and letting them guide where the story goes.

What people call, pantsers, or organic writers probably wrote the second two examples. The term pantser derives from saying they write by the seat of their pants. Some will argue that organic writers, have no idea where they’re going in their story, so they just wing it.

I guess, in part, this is true. It’s not so much that we wing it; as it is that we listen to our intuition, trust our instinct, and let out characters determine the outcome of the story. We aren’t confined by preconceived ideas or destinations. We like to take chances; even knowing they may not pay off in the end. Why? Because, more often than not, those chances do pay off.

There are pros and cons to each method. I’m not saying one is better than the other. I’m sure you have figured out by now that I, myself, am an organic writer. That doesn’t mean everyone should be, or that plotters can’t write well-rounded characters and a great plot. Just like it doesn’t mean an organic writer can’t have a well though out plot while staying true to their characters.

What it does mean is; in order for those to happen the individual writer must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

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Whether you are a plotter or an organic writer, one thing remains the same, you must always work to improve your craft, shore up your weak spots, and strive to be a better writer today than you were yesterday. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Explore. Expand beyond your comfort zone. Be brave. Be daring. Take risks.

You hardcore plotters, try adding a scene, or a chapter, without plotting it out.

You organic writers, try making an outline for a scene, a chapter, or—if you’re feeling adventurous—for an entire book.

The end product might end up being the best scene/chapter/book you’ve written. It might end up being horrible and doomed to end up in the trash. It will more likely be somewhere in the middle. However, I can almost guarantee that you will learn something from the process.

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~ Lynley Wayne

About Lynley Wayne

Lynley was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. She published her first book in September of 2012 and hasn’t looked back. When not writing she can found reading or coming up with creative ways to avoid housework. While Lynley Wayne may be a pen name, the woman behind it is very real and believes everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness. She looks forward to the day when who or how we love is no longer an issue.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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One thought on “Plotting vs Organic Writing ~ Lynley Wayne: Outside the Margins

  1. I loved this post – I am an organic writer, but I have a plot in my head. My first release started very organised, but as soon as I began writing the characters seem to take it somewhere else. I shall take your suggestion and try to plot a scene…if they let me 🙂

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