Plotting vs Planning aren’t they the same thing?
Planning the act or process of making or carrying out plans specifically: the establishment of goals.
Plotting devises, the sequence of events.
Often, we will use these words interchangeably when referring to writing process. They aren’t the same thing.
Planning in the writing world means just that you are going into your story with a plan. Before you even write your first word you know what world this story is taking place. You have characters in mind. You have their name and the basics of who they are and what they look like. You know what the result of the story is going to be. As a writer you know if this book is going to be a part of a series. There is some very basic planning that happens before you write your first word, even if it is only in your head and not on paper.
Plotting for a writer is going to be a lot more intense. This is going to be an outline created to make sure you are hitting all the key parts in your story.
For this we will use the example of the basics of a Romance Novel, since that is what the majority of what we read.
In a Romance Novel a plotter would have established the complete plotline of the story. The characters in advance of who they are how they evolve. They would know their connection or meet cute. The writer will have put thought into the steps of them coming together as a couple. Authors will have plotted out what might tear them apart or create angst in the story. The plotting can be as loose or as detailed at the author needs it to be to assist in their writing process.
If I plot out my book, do I have to stay with it? The answer is no! It depends on what helps you write the best story possible. Plotting can be a very personal endeavor. Some authors are very heavy in plotting but that does not mean that within the moments of their writing process they aren’t struck with new inspiration. That maybe the story takes a turn they had not originally seen. It is all part of the process for each writer.
Your plan can change while you are plotting. You cannot always see the ending but starting with a plan will help. You can go into the story with a basic plan of where it will fit in your series or the type of setting you are writing in but as you plot things or write piece of the story might move and work in a different way. Again, the writing process is very individualized and person.
There is no right way to write a book. One thing to keep in mind is that if you put some very basic habits in to place like a plan with goals or a very rough outline of your story that it will help create a more successful writing experience. It can even start in the very beginning with your brainstorming of an idea and creating an anchor.
If you need help with planning out a book or a series this is something we can help you do. We can just be the sounding board for ideas and write them down for you. We can also help you with getting into the deep details of characters and plotlines. We do offer a free consultation and can help answer any questions you have about this process.