With or without plans?

I had a day off today so I've had a lot time to write. Today my goal is to finish a chapter I've been writing for two weeks - my studies and a weekend in Helsinki kept me from writing for few days. When the chapter is written, I'll check my word count again.

On this post I'll answer to a question asked by one of my friends at university. If you have something to ask, leave a comment.

Do you write chapters from first to the last one and if not, how do you find it?

Depends on situation. When I was writing the first version of the manuscript, I finished the first chapter before starting next one. I also tried to write some scenes from the middle of the book. However, the plot changed so much during the years that it made writing difficult - my new ideas didn't fit the text I had written and so on. That was when I put the manuscript aside and focused on planning the plot.

I've written my novel with and without plans. When I write chapters in order I don't need to look at my plans so much: I write what I have in my mind and let the story grow. It's quite straightforward and makes daily writing easier.This year I haven't had an order to follow; I've just written what comes naturally - but I couldn't have done it if I didn't have a good, specific plan of the chapter. There is a lot of little things in Young Fighters I have to keep in mind, so planning has been very useful. It has helped me to remember, what happened before the scene I'm writing, specially if I haven't written the things I have to remember. When you want to write a chapter between first and fifth and next a chapter between 15th and 25th, for example, plans are crucial, I think.

If you want to write a good novel, you need to have some plans. The plan doesn't have to be specific: the main thing is that you have some kind of plan. The first plan I made was only a list of events - it only gave me a direction to go and an idea of where to start. A little decision can also be a plan. I made few decisions like "Today I'll make a plan for second chapter", "Next week I'll focus on the opening chapter" and "Now I'll try to write a completely new scene". I think that specific plans work for some and others they don't. They can make a writer anxious and terrified. The only way to find out if they work for you is to try. And remember: plans can always change, so don't worry. Plans are supposed to help you, not to tie you.

Ps. It's winter here now! I had to stare a while when I saw the snow. Everything is white - and cold!

2 kommenttia:

  1. I agree with you about the need for a plan while writing a novel.
    I am definitely a plotter myself, and I write from a beginning to end order. But it is tempting to jump ahead and tackle an exciting and new chapter/scene!

    I can't imagine seeing snow this early in the year! It has only just begun to get cool in the mornings and evenings here in Tokyo, but nothing at all like Finland! Keep warm :)

    1. It really is tempting! Lately I've tried to resist the temptation - with success! There was too many unfinished chapters that made me crazy.

      Yeah, this is quite early. In Finland winter comes always early, though. About five years ago we had snow already in early October. I've never lived this north before so it's interesting to see the difference between Joensuu and Imatra.