As requested, here is a post where I try to explain my new writing technique that I've been referring to as plot-lining. Even though plot-lining doesn't explain the process at all.
Plot-lining is basically this: half outline and half writing.
It's actually kind of close to pantsing, but on a smaller scale (this is when pantsing and plotting get married).
And the final result is either the longest outline in the world, or a micro-version of your novel. A novella of sorts.
And it works like this.
You switch back and forth between outlining and actual writing. When you know details like dialogue, description, place names, character names, etc, you write about them in as much detail as you would without actually writing EVERYTHING. When you don't know something, you switch to summary. But you always, always include the feel of each scene, the tension, and the character emotions, and you write out either in detail or summary form every scene you'll use in a chapter.
I'd give you an example from mine, but I can't give away any details. Except that one detail I gave you yesterday. So I'm using a more well known text to get my point across.
So here's an example of plot-lining...if I were Suzanne Collins...and I plot-lined The Hunger Games.
Disclaimer: I did not write The Hunger Games or create anything mentioned below. I'm simply borrowing the text that Suzanne Collins, genius-goddess wrote to illustrate my point. Also I wrote this as if it would be in third person when we know the book is written in first.
Katniss wakes up in the bed she shares with her younger sister Prim. There's a cat there. She hates the cat, but tolerates him because her sister loves him and Katniss loves her sister more than anything.
Katniss swings her legs out of bed and quickly gets dressed and leaves to go hunting. She travels through the place she lives called the Seam, part of District 12. It's dreary, the people are poor and unkempt and usually crawling with miners who represent their main industry.
Today the Seam is empty.
Katniss passes through the houses and moves toward the Meadow which is really just a scruffy field before the woods. There's an electric fence that closes off the woods. There is supposed to be 24 hours of electricity, but they're usually lucky to get two or three hours of electricity, so it's safe to touch. Right now its silent. Katniss flattens out on her belly and slides under a stretch that's been loose for two years.
Katniss is immediately at home. She does this regularly. She has supplies there. Her father taught her to hunt. It's illegal for her to do this. But she's not concerned. Most people would do this, but they don't have weapons. She does! Her father helped her. And though poaching is illegal, everyone wants food, even the Peacekeepers (who work for the Capitol). Her father was very important.
Katniss is appalled at the set up of this system and says, District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety.
Brief overview of Panem and the Capitol and the way they are feared.
Katniss meets up with her hunting friend Gale.
Hey, Catnip, he says, using the nickname he gave her when they first met and he didn't understand what she said her name was.
Gale has a surprise for her. Bread. This is rare.
Mmm, still warm, Katniss says. What did you have to trade for it?
Just a squirrel. The old man was feeling sentimental. He even wished me luck.
Prim left us cheese.
Thank you, Prim. It's a real feast.
OK, so you can see that dialogue included is not tagged properly, because you're just quickly getting your thoughts down. Most of the details Suzanne Collins intelligently placed are missing, but hopefully I gave just enough to still paint the picture. I left out so many details about Gale, but the relationship between them is sketched out.
The bit with Buttercup the cat was nixed, but the detail that the cat exists and is a source of tension but also an example of her relationship to her sister is there, so Suzanne Collins (in this imaginary time travel place of not having written the book yet and using my technique) would know to fill it in later.
All right so there it is. Similar attention would then be given to the rest of the scene with Gale, and attending the reaping ending with the detail that Effie Trinket reads the name on the paper. It's not mine. It's Prim. And then chapter 2 would be tackled.
So all of the oomph and impact that happen in those first seven pages are captured (to an extent) in a few paragraphs. This will allow you to look over the whole of what you've written more quickly and easily than if it were all written.
Plotting takes more time. WAY more time. But...issues that might take a few revisions to work out, can be fixed now.
I hope you guys enjoyed and found it helpful. And if not...hey, that's cool too. Everyone has a different way of doing this that works for them. Right now this is working for me.
And if you got this far into this epically long post, you deserve an award.