I’ve always been more of a planner than a pantser. I like to have a to-do list each day, I have some ideas of what I want to do on vacation before I go, I figure out goals for each month and year, and—no surprise—I make a plan for my novels before I start writing them.
That isn’t to say I’m not open to change. Fully scheduling my days was always too restrictive, and the thought of a vacation that’s completely planned out sounds more tiring than relaxing.
But my novels… that’s definitely where planning takes over.
I’ve adopted a lot of planning tools for my writing over the years. I’ve found an outlining system that works for me, incorporating Scrivener’s corkboard tool. And I love using Pinterest for setting inspiration.
Something I find increasingly useful, though, is my character sheet. While I’ve always used some sort of character sheet or outline when planning a novel, my current version is much more thorough and detailed than anything I’ve used in the past. It seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but now I can’t imagine working without it. My words flow so much better, thanks to the insight it provides.
I want to give credit where credit it’s due, too. My character sheet is an adapted version of this one over on Pinterest, which I think is a general Dungeons and Dragons character sheet. I’ve altered it a fair bit, particularly to suit my fantasy-genre tendencies, but it is based off of that one. So I recommend you go and check it out if you want something with fewer fantasy elements.
Otherwise, feel free to download and enjoy mine!