April 19, 2023

P - Plot It Out (Writer's Block) + BONUS


Pantsing, sorry to say, can slow your progress if you don’t know what to write next, and it can surely be a reason for writer’s block. You have to know what you need to write next in order to continue your project. If you don’t have an idea, you’ll be stuck. You won’t write. You’ll struggle with figuring out where you need to go in the story. If that happens, you won’t be able to make any progress whatsoever.

I recommend attempting to plot out your book. Or be a plantser, a hybrid of the two. You could try planning out a few chapters ahead of where you are at the time. When you start to write the third chapter you had previously plotted out, begin plotting the next three. This way, you have the freedom of pantsing but with a plan, and you can still change things as you go.

At the very least, at the end of a writing session, plot out where you will start the next day, what will happen immediately after where you left off, and know a little bit of where you’ll be going in order to write a decent amount of words. This will help you get back in to your story faster and provide a clear map of where you need to go.

I used to be big on plotting out every single moment in my books. Well, close to it. I’d have chapter outlines, and I’d even add in reminders for conversations and things my characters would say so I wouldn’t forget. Now, I’ve adopted a mixed technique for works-in-progress where I pants for as much as I can, and then I plot out a little. But, I should add, I always know how a story will end before I begin writing it. I think that’s what helps me to plot out an entire story as well as do my 50-50 technique as a plantser.

If you want to make plotting fun, especially if sitting down and plotting out a story on paper or in a Word document isn’t your thing, you can try one or both of these techniques:

Index Cards – Get a pack of index cards and tack them up on a bulletin board or tape them to an empty wall. You can use an index card to specify a chapter and then add index cards beneath it in a column for everything that needs to happen in that chapter. What’s neat about this option is that you can easily remove an index card or rearrange them.

Trello.com – This is a web-based application a dedicated writer friend recommended to me at the local writers’ group I attend. It’s a neat tool that provides writers a way to organize their stories without paper and index cards and sticky notes. (Yay for saving trees!) You can create different boards (storyboards) on Trello for every work-in-progress. With the boards, you store all of your ideas, research, and to-do lists. First, you’ll want to create lists for your board, such as characters, plot, setting, and anything else you want to keep track of. Then you can add “cards.” For the plot list, you can create a card for each chapter and detail what will happen during that chapter. For the characters’ list, you can set up cards for each of your characters with descriptions of their appearances, personalities, and other important information. You can even upload inspirational photos. You can do so much with this digital storyboarding application.

There are many websites and apps out there, free and for-purchase, that you can test out to see what you are comfortable with. Use whatever works for your process and how you create.



P - Partner

Charles (Chuck) Davis is Avrianna's homicide detective partner.
Universal Killer Excerpt:

“They tried to bar you from the police academy and from joining the Aurora Police Department, didn’t they?”

Avrianna forced a smile that would look like a death threat on a rabid dog. “They did,” she said through her snarl. “And they failed. Both times.”

Lucky for her, Chuck had stepped up when it was time for her to get a partner, when no one else wanted to do it. She never knew why he did, but ever since, he’d been like a father figure to her, always looking out for her.
Chuck is important to Avrianna. You can read about their partnership and witness all the times he has her back in Avrianna's novellas.

To read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.


  1. I too plot much of the story. There may be missing sections, that eventually come to me.


    1. Plotting out as much as you can, and leaving the sections you can't figure out until later, is a good strategy. It's the plantser method that I love.

  2. I can't write without a plan. A member of my writer's group tried pantsing once, though, and she said it was very freeing. She was ending up with a very interesting story. I think it depends on how one's brain works. Some can do very well pantsing. Some need to have a plan. I say, do whatever works best for you. Lean into your strengths.

    1. I try to pants as much as I can, but I always end up stalling at a certain point and need a plan to move forward. It definitely does depend on the writer. All writers are different.

  3. I like writing the skeleton draft of my book, plotting it, and then adding the flesh. I've found this to work the best for me.

    Ronel visiting for P:
    My Languishing TBR: P
    Playful Phoukas

    1. It's great to have a method that works for you.