SSP111 The Guys Discuss: Balancing Structure & Creativity

Creating outlines and beats can keep you moving by always knowing what’s next when a pure pantser might have to stop and figure out what happens. But sometimes too much structure can stifle creativity and make your story feel less fresh and exciting than it should.

In today’s episode, the guys talk about how each of their processes has evolved and changed over the years to help them balance using the structure they know helps them save time, overcome writer’s block, and write faster, with the need for freedom and creativity to explore unexpected aspects of stories that arise in the telling.

Johnny talks about a recent project that nearly drove him crazy and consumed more than a year of his life and also taught him, that for his own personal process, less is often more when it comes to backstories and beats. It’s hard for him to perform at his best when he is beholden to an overly detailed outline and feels like he has to work hard to wedge all the details in.

Lately Dave has been moving in the opposite direction, working from more fleshed out and detailed Bonnie-styled outlines and beats and has been enjoying the process more than he used to. But of course, he isn’t enjoying the current aspect of trying to write in the same house where his wife and children are also working and learning and living on top of each other 24/7 like everyone is these days. Dave has a few choice words to say about all of that.

As usual, Sean is the Baby Bear of the bunch, not too hot/big/hard, not too cold/small/hard, but somewhere kind of in the middle.

Listen in to find out more of what the guys think about the current world crisis as well as how and what they are working on now.

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