For me, planning takes all the fun out of it - by the time I've planned my novel, I'm bored with it and don't want to write anymore. I'd rather just sit down with a character and write what they do, and what obstacles they face, and it all just comes together. Then, when I know where I'm going, I can always look back and cut or add scenes if necessary.

If you like planning, how do you make sure you don't get bored?

4 Answers 4


If you're focusing on the part boredom plays in the process, I am almost entirely sure this is simply a matter of personality and preference.

I am the exact opposite when I write. I started out trying to discovery write, and I would almost always get bored. I wasn't invested in the characters or the story because I didn't know what they were yet, so I didn't feel like I was writing a story I'd want to read. Basically, I never even got far enough to do any rewriting.

One the other hand, outlining was fun for me. I felt creative when brainstorming the idea, creative as I was developing the story, creative when I was organizing it, and creative when I was writing the prose for each scene. That last one is important. If you're looking to take a real go at outlining, I'd recommend you concern yourself mostly with writing interesting prose after the planning stages. It might keep you interested. Another plus was the complete lack of writer's block, since I always knew what needed to happen next.

Also, this might just be me, but I can't stand the editing phase. It feels like I've already done all this, so I don't get nearly as much fulfillment from it. It feels like a chore.


One thing you need to know is that you don't have to plan. Plenty of people can get a piece of writing done if they don't plan or if they have a plan in their head so they don't want to write it down. You need to ask yourself do I need to plan? If you need an outline to be able to carry through the piece of writing without drifting away from your goal, then yes, you need to plan. But if you don't distract easily and the piece is relatively short, then you don't need to plan.

If you have decided that you want to plan your writing piece, try and take the parts of writing you like and put them into the planning process. For example, if you love world-building and creating characters, then you can start your planning process with one of those things and end it with the other to keep you going through to the end.

There are so many different ways to plan a novel, and different ways work for different people. One way that works for me is on the The Write Practice, a great site for writers. This is that link.

I hope I helped a bit. :)


I outline my works because otherwise I have no way of ensuring that the characters will, in fact, go somewhere. It doesn't always "just come together."

As for boredom, expanding the outline into the first draft in fact requires more invention and imagination than revising the first draft into the second so I do not, in fact, get bored by it.


Some writers have a natural instinct for great storytelling. However, in my experience as a reader, even the best discovery writers tend to struggle with their endings. It's hard to bring together a lot of diverse elements in a satisfying conclusion without doing at least some planning.

Additionally, for people who aren't as naturally gifted at story --or who are, but who would like to be less at the mercy of their muse, and have more of the process under their conscious control --planning can be very valuable and useful. There are a lot of effects that I only used to be able to produce by inspiration, and by good fortune, that I now understand how to produce deliberately. It produces writing that is less uneven.

It may seem like a burden on your creativity, but in my experience, it isn't at all. It just unleashes your creativity to go deeper in more productive directions. You can still bring the inspired and the unexpected to bear, you just have a framework to support them.

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