There are some significant disadvantages to being either a plotter or a pantster, but this post will focus on a few techniques, garnered from a SOTP workshop at the ACFW conference, that will offset the SOTP challenges.
1) Writing a synopsis - It's sometimes not good enough to a publisher or agent to give "broad brushstrokes," so when it's not you should tape record yourself talking about your book. You'll be surprised at how much you actually already have thought out about the plot but haven't solidified and written it down anywhere.
2) To offset panic - Remind yourself that you're not writing the entire book today. Instead, write one brief bullet point of what to accomplish the next day, focus on dialogue to keep the scene moving along, research until inspiration strikes, reread what you've written so far to come full circle and get your creative juices flowing. Also, schedule in time to be a SOTP. If you think you can write a book in a year, double it to two.
3) Look at your first draft as your outline. Anne Lamotte says to write the first drat and expect it to be crummy. Chain your internal editor while writing. You can edit later. Also, don't be too attached to anything you've written, as it'll likely be heavily edited (read: cut) later. Also, don't get hung up on creating chapter ending hooks. This is better as part of the editing process.
4) Rabbit trails and tangents have use! The portions of your story that you had fun writing, that kept the whole project interesting to you, but don't serve to drive the plot forward or keep tension on the page can be "Added Value" to your readers. Put these scenes or chapters on your website to give you readers extra enjoyment as they read the chapter that got cut, or find out the story behind the story.
5) When you're stuck - think about the original conflict. What did you want to write this book in the first place? Whether you know the opening scene and ending scene, or just have an idea for a fantastic climax, revisit the one or two blurps or snatches of plot that first attracted you to the story.
6) To preserve ideas - WRITE THEM DOWN. Don't let ideas slip by, thinking you'll capture it the following day or even be able to remember it by then.
Ultimately, the way any writer writes a story is to get their rear end in the seat, fingers on the keyboard, and just do the work, but hopefully these tips will help the SOTPer.
Q4U: Do you have any other tricks you'd like me to add to the list? Things that have helped you overcome SOTP challenges?