Give me something to write and the words pour out of me. I make up the topics for my blogs in advance. Then I schedule time to write them. That’s how I do it.
I know there are pantsers out who are moaning about planning. You plan too. You keep it in your heads. You have to start somewhere and that’s what I’m talking about. You make plans to sit down and write. Or maybe you walk and dictate your writing to your phone or something. The point is that you make a plan to write. Even if you don’t plan what you write. You plan to write.
Writing is a process. If you don’t have some kind of plan, written or mental, you end up wallowing in the weeds somewhere. If you are a pantser, you usually haul yourself out by grit. Plotters usually don’t end up in the weeds. I’m what’s called a plantser. That is I make a broad plan and wing it from there. I have a boot in each camp, you might say. So I know where I should be, but I often end up in the weeds. That’s OK, I can usually get back on track, but I need to know what the track is in advance. Otherwise I would wander, lost in the weeds forever.
I would rather not be, thank you very much. So I make a broad plan and write it down. Then I sit down and write. I do the whole nine yards of writing up character sketches, and plotting the story. I more or less stick to the plot I put down, but I often don’t look back at the character sketches. That’s because I let the characters arise naturally. That’s where I pants it. I will go back to see the relationships between the characters and what each one looks like. The rest of it falls by the wayside. I get a sense of who they are when I write the sketch, but they develop later in the work.
As for the plot, when I say I plot my novels, I mean I write brief descriptions of what should happen in each scene. I don’t always write that. One novel that will be coming out Christmas 2021, is exactly that. I had a plot. Then, as I began writing it, a subplot popped up and took over the main plot. I kept the main plot, but I used it as a subplot to the new one. My writing is organic that way. I still had the plan, but it was flexible enough to change on the fly.
Whether you’re a plotter or not, though. You always start with a plan. Sometimes it’s in your head. Go for it, but be open to any changes that might come into play. You might find yourself writing a better story than the one you planned.