Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!

As the title states, I..... over plan my story and I'm somehow stuck? Why is it that I write better when I'm a pantser. It's not fair! 

I plan, and plan, and plan some more ... but now I'm stuck. It's like facing a huge wall of self expectation that I set for myself. 

I like planning because it gives me a good sense of possible plot holes and keep track of any continuity errors I may come across. I love planning. 

But when it comes down to it... I can't write as freely...the moment I plan -too much- my passion for it fizzles out. 

Is it a lack of discipline? Lack of skills? All of the above? 


Well whatever it is. I'm crying out words as Im writing a whole new story where it's sheer pantsing


((But if anyone has a solution to this... other than "git gud, gg, lol" I'm all ears.))

Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!

I think it's because planning is a lot easier than actually sitting down and starting to write it. And yes, I KNOW planning can be super-complicated, and can easily just continue to spiral on and on and get more and more hard to keep track of all of the cool ideas you've planned. But it's still the "path of least resistance". It takes less effort than writing . It's closer to daydreaming or brainstorming. So, you might be stuck just because it's easier to stay "stuck". :) No matter how detailed your "planning" gets, it will be incomplete, and there is more than you can think about, more that you could plan... You need a healthy balance, which means a point where you cut the planning off! (I think!) 

Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!

DrakanLaugh When I first planned my novel, I thought about making it an isekai, then when I actually started writing I discovered that making a mystery out of whether or not my novel is an isekai or not, is actually a decent premise.

What I plan are, and, will never be perfect once written. I planned to make my mc a genius, but actually when I began to wrote the thing I noticed that I was too dumb to write anything about genius, so I made him more average, just a happy lucky child.

DrakanBook As an author, I know the final destination of my journey, but for the time being, I'm still grinding on the road, in the future, who knows maybe the final destination will be different from what has been planned.


Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!

I am a discovery writer (pantser) but I also have planned arcs, development, and events I work towards.

I break down a book by having a decided on goal (say getting enough power/status/influence to leave the starting region to be sent on a near suicide mission to seal/destroy a evil being) and from there have it broken down into Parts or Arcs. I tend to have 4-6 arcs with an overall story and theme. Within each Arc are smaller 'mini-arcs' (3-6) that are focused on more specific themes, motifs and ideas within the main arc. Each Mini-arc has 5-14 chapters at about 1.5-2.5k words a piece (averaging about 2k).
I also update or will update on each weekday at the very least.

Doing things this way makes it much easier for me to write and focus on the story I am creating.

Video that really helped me with developing this process

The above video is of a person who discovery writes in the same way I do and has helped me. Perhaps it will help you and others.

Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!

You need to learn when to stop planning. What that point is, I can't tell you. There is a sweet spot and you have to discover it on you own. I learned very early on that I hate outlining and pantsing an entire novel isn't worth it in the long run especially with my process. It just means more work trying to fix multiple chapters with a finished draft. That something I don't want to do. Not anymore.

People seem to think writing needs to be you either a planner or a panster. It's always extremes. Truth is, there are a lot of writers like myself who aren't an extreme. I'm a hybrid writer. I will not outline an entire novel from beginning to end. That spoils things for me. Neither do I go right into a story and pants the entire thing. I know better than to do that now. The more complex a story is, the less likely I'm going to write a story successfully like that. In fact, both methods end up with me stopping at some point. With outlining and over-planning without an outline, I won't write the story because I've spoiled it for myself. With pantsing, I'm going to stall at some point because I have no clue where to go or I just don't know enough to write the story anymore.

And even between novels, my method of going about writing them adjusts because not every novel can be written exactly the same.

Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!


NinaWrites Wrote: ((But if anyone has a solution to this... other than "git gud, gg, lol" I'm all ears.))
It's psychological. The act of creation is not one that's based on fear. Your mind has to be free, open, in it's "play state." When we sit down to plan, we do it out of a want to not mess things up, but remember, that's your writerly fears. The more you pursue being careful, or wanting to write something perfect, or write the best thing you've ever written, the more your brain locks up on it's creative outputs. And this is the reason why you can't write when you do a bunch of planning.

Of course, the other reason could be that you're simply not interested anymore, nothing is driving your curiosity, since you planned it all out. I'm a pretty good outliner, but I don't really do outlining anymore, because it holds me back.

Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!


NinaWrites Wrote: ((But if anyone has a solution to this... other than "git gud, gg, lol" I'm all ears.))
One of the things a good writer realizes is that 90% of the story you tell will never leave the inside of your head.

You will know things about your story -- about the characters, the scenery, the history, the lore -- that no one else will ever know.

It's kind of a sad state of affairs to first realize, but once you get used to it, writing becomes so much easier. You learn to leave out lots of dumb stuff that does nothing to further the plot. 


Re: Ha-ha you activated my trap card! Over-zealous planning!


Weavervale Wrote: If you’re not enjoying writing a chapter chances are your readers won’t enjoy the chapter either. Skip to the next bit you’re excited to write! Like I just had a heck of a time writing about my himbo in foas. I get like 5 reads a day - I just enjoyed writing a confused otter who wants to help, chances are royal road isn’t the right place for this trash. 😂
I would say that it is exactly the right place!