She is obviously adorable.
Although when Evie plays she totally spazzes out and makes me a little scared for her intelligence, for the most part Evie is extremely methodical. She chews her food carefully. She burrows into the covers for hours on end until she finds the right amount of coverage. She nudges and prods me over and over, minute after minute, while I'm trying to write and get important blog posting done, and it drives me totally insane and then I yell at her and scare her and she runs away, but since she's obviously adorable I feel terrible so I call her back and tell her I'm sorry, and the whole thing starts all over again, until she finds just the right spot by my supple body to snuggle. She's a planner.
Now, blog readers, meet Millie:
She is also obviously adorable. And yes she's wearing a t-shirt. We are so Those People.
Millie scarfs down her food in about two seconds. She gets under the blanket with one swift nudge of her nose. She moves right in next to me because she knows exactly where she wants to sit - no planning required.
When I was thinking about the vast differences in my two dogs today, it occurred to me that their personalities perfectly mirror the two kinds of writers. And if I were to talk about this on my blog, I would be able to post pictures of my dogs. Who are obviously adorable.
Some writers outline. They work through their plot scene-by-scene, thinking what will happen when and to whom, so that when they start writing they have a plan. They might even exchange the outline with a trusted crit partner to see if the book has a leg to stand on before they start writing. These are the Evies of the world.
Other writers don't outline. They just open up the Word document or their Pages (I'm a Mac user now, remember) and start typing. Of course, they have an idea in their head, and I'm sure they have a line or two written out, and a general sense of where they're going. But for the most part they just find of write, and let the story grow organically and see where it takes them. These are the Millies of the world.
When I started writing my current project, I didn't outline. I definitely knew where I wanted the story to go, but I didn't write it out. I think I had too many bad memories of writing outlines from school - and I'd never outlined in school, either. (Here's a confession, in case any of my former English teachers are reading this: I used to write the rough drafts before the outlines. Then I'd turn in the outlines as if I'd written it first. I just liked it better that way. Go ahead, revoke my diploma.) Not outlining kind of worked for me. Two of my most vibrant characters (and ones that my crit partners have loved) popped up as I was writing, and were totally, completely unplanned. I'm not sure if that could have happened if I had an outline.
But now that I'm starting to think more and more about my next project (even though, don't get me wrong, I am still no where near done revising this one), I think I'm going to give outlining a try. I'm not going to go all crazy and snowflake or anything - that's intense. (Plus I live in Florida. So obviously I'm not a fan of snowflakes.*) But I will try to write out the major scenes, characters, that kind of thing. I definitely see the merit in it, and how it might help me identify some of the weaker scenes in the book before I waste the time writing them. Of course my rough draft might still be a mess, but as someone who's new to novel writing, I think it can't hurt to try something new.
So...are you an Evie (a planner) or a Millie (a non-planner)? Why?
Or, are you a little of both?
This is an old picture, since my hair is long and that's my crappy old Dell and not my awesome new MacBook. Also it's not a very good picture. But apparently I'm not a good dog mom because there are approximately 0 other pictures with both dogs in them. Oh well.
*Actually, that's a lie. I effing love snowflakes.