Over the course of December I’ve been trying out a writing style that I came across during NaNoWriMo and instantly fell in love with. It’s called the Phase System, created by Lazette Gifford. While I haven’t gotten far enough along to explore its full process, I have confirmed my love for the overall process thus far.
I am a plotter. I suffer from World Builders Disease and Over Plotting Syndrome. I write linearly vs non-linearly, which means I often struggle with finishing a story considerably more than with editing it (Post #2 on this forum is a good example of the differences). Basically, my process involves me plotting and world building for extensive amounts of time when I should actually be writing after a certain point.
To make matters worse, I am a character driven writer vs a plot driven one. That generally means my story develops a bit slower, and my character control the vast majority of where it goes. This leads to a great deal of stress when my characters drive the plot in a different way than I imagined they would. It also leads a great deal of re-plotting after I finally begin the writing process. That may or may not lead me to work on my world again. Once I start working on my world again, it’s going to be a while before I actually write.
This system I ran across is helping me tremendously with that. It allows me to plot while I write, which is giving my characters the opportunity to lead me wherever they want to go. I began a test run of it yesterday on my Pirates vs Zombie Apocalypse collaboration, and I have to say it’s working very well. I haven’t gone back and filled in the gaps yet, nor have I had to go through an edit yet, but the writing process itself is running smoothly so far, which is a very good sign. I am both envisioning the story, and plotting it, and allowing my characters to run me along their set path. If my phase to story ratio holds similarly to hers, I plotted about 5k of story yesterday with almost no effort, compared to my usual struggle.
I am going to give this a test run for the entire duration of 2013, and possibly 2014 (depending on how much editing I accomplish this upcoming year). With any luck, it will hold up to the expectations I have set upon it, and I will have finally found my niche! I’ll update the blog here and there with how it’s holding up, and how it is working out, but I have extremely high hopes so far.