Back when I started this #writing journey four years ago, I can honestly say I was a pure #plotter. With #ForgottenStorm I created an in-depth outline, a short synopsis, a long synopsis, every character had an extensive bio with a picture, and each chapter included a brief summary. Since I had no formal writing experience, I felt I had to put into practice everything I'd ever read or researched about writing a novel.
Forgotten Storm was a 2 1/2 year quest that consumed my every waking and sleeping moment. The anxiety it wasn't good enough plagued me constantly. She went through numerous rewrites, endless edits, and when I finally said, screw it, I've taken it as far as I can and submitted the manuscript, I was sure it would go nowhere.
Thank God I was wrong!
Writing book 2, #ForbiddenStorm, my stress level lowered from DEFCON 1 to about a 2.5. Most of the characters from Forgotten Storm streamed into Forbidden Storm, so I only created bios for any new roles. And while I still did a long synopsis, I nixed the shorter one and the outline. Hence, Forbidden Storm only took a year and a half from the start, to the time I submitted it to my publisher.
While I wait to hear from them, sitting on pins and needles, all my old anxieties come roaring back, telling me Forbidden Storm's not good enough. Or Forgotten Storm was a fluke, and nothing will measure up. For which I reply, "Shut the hell up!"
Four months later, I'm about halfway through book 3, Fiery Storm, with a projected submittal date of February 2020. I believe I've evolved from a Plotter to a full-on, fly by the seat of my pants, go where my characters take me, Panster. No outline -- which I rarely stuck to anyway -- no synopsis, and only minimal character bios for the newbies.
So what does that mean? Well, I'm not entirely sure. I hope it means I'm finding my rhythm as a #writer. While I still have a general idea of the major plot points, and the wounds and goals of all my characters, my method has streamlined and become more enjoyable.
I still suffer from the same old insecurities, but they don't cause me as much stress or anxiety as they did. I'm curious to discover how I evolve, if at all, with book 4, Fractured Storm, as I predict that storyline to be my most challenging to date.
Onward and upward, and pick up your damn feet.