Tuesday, 14 August 2012

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Planning Stories Vs Winging It

What kind of writer are you?

Do you plan everything about your story to the last detail? Character bios that cover every detail of their lives? Plans that include all minor details of the plot like every subplot, conflict, argument, downfalls, outfits worn, weather, strangers they pass in the street, what pants they wear?

Or do you wing it, and have the major scenes in mind and you set on your merry way and bash at your laptop until you have 50,000 words, hoping everything fits together nicely and letting your characters decide what happens next..?

I lean more towards the wing it side. I write maybe about ten-twenty points of the story or scenes I'd like to cover then I let the story naturally flow between these points. For Salvatore, I had about ten pages of points typed up and the first story got so exciting from the first few points that I still had nine and a half pages left. Then Salvatore: Book Two only covered about another page of points. So that shows how vague my plotting is...

Recently I've started writing a possible novel length story. I wrote about 12,000 words with the story in first person, but something just didn't feel right. So I scrapped that, then began writing a second draft. Now I'm at about the same word count I've decided on a more appropriate and intriguing setting that would fit the story much better. So I now have the choice to either start over, yet again, or try to slot in the extra parts and hope for the best. I'm leaning towards starting again, to make sure it's perfect. The more I write the more I  realise how important planning is, and when you're as whimsical and annoyingly unmotivated as me it becomes more and more clear how important plotting the subplots and characters and setting is. Setting has always been one of the less important elements of writing a story for me, beneath characterisation and having a good idea, but I'm also beginning to realise that too needs to be top notch for a story to be really submersive.

Let me know what your opinions are!