In the world of my new, titleless baby novel, I've been outlining. Very seriously. Me, the serious writer, outlining. I have two story maps (incomplete), a T chart, the beginnings of character biopses, and several pages of just free form notes. I haven't even started the notecards yet. You can't ever have too many roadmaps, right? Errrr yes, so I admit I've probably been a closet plotter this entire time, masquerading shamelessly as a flier (by the seat of my pants, although this phrase never made sense to me--how can you fly by the seat of your pants, unless your pant seats have wings or some kind of mystical butt pixie dust?).
Anyway, since I've been reading Gail Carson Levine's blog religiously, I came across a post about notes. You might want to check this one out. Apparently, she takes notes during her writing process as a kind of diary/workbook/place to vent your hatred of your stubborn characters. What amazes me, is how extensive her notes are and how messy. And how she mentioned that books like The Two Princesses of Bamarre (which I conveniently have in my desk as a reference for a model YA fantasy novel), were "horrible, uncooperative monsters." What? The Two Princesses of Bamarre was...bad at some point? I know they say first drafts are never perfect, but somehow, I imagined GCL birthing beautiful novels through mental regurgitation, thoughts appearing on paper effortlessly, all while merrily munching on dark chocolate without gaining weight. Well, the fact that this isn't true, gives me some perverse joy at knowing that everyone, even GCL, has to struggle. Is this wrong of me? Probably. But she never has to know.
Now I have notes too. It's kind of a relief that no one has to see them except me, because they're so disorganized and incomprehensible. But I bet GCL's are ACTUALLY color-coded with gel pens and decorated with glitter. I bet hers go in neat lines and read like calligraphy.
So now, I must ask again: plotter or flier? What are you? Have you ever tried the other method? Do you believe GCL's shenanigans about struggling? Surely it is a lie to make us feel better!