Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - To Plan or Not #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveauthor #EPICauthor

Planning your story or not is the question. I'm all for planning but my plans leave room for those changes that occur when an Aha Moment sends the plan off kilter. There's not much, but I've planned an entire book of 80,000 words in eight pages. Sometimes there are more pages, sometimes less. We've all been children and there's that "Tell me a story." We've said that and we've heard our children say that. Think of the stories we were told or read to our children and you get the impact. For me planning is all tell and little show. The show comes when I sit down to write the story.

A two detailed plan can mean the story stops before you begin. Why write the story when you know everything that's going to occur? What happens if the characters as they develop must take a different path than the one you've chosen to reach the end? The plan has gone awry and the story is put aside. Rigid planning doesn't allow for the wonderful twists and turns that happen while trying to reach that end. They live happily ever after. The bad guys are caught and punished. Good defeats evil. Those kind of endings can be reached with a rigid plan but the writing can lose the freshness that makes the story sing.

Without a plan, the story is all over the place. The end is never reached. Or if it is the reader could be bored because they know the end the moment they story begins. The story becomes an entire stream of consciousness with no real reason to exist. The reader may say "I know how this will end. Who cares."

How does one plan? Know the kind of story you're going to write. Romance, mystery, fantasy or any of the genres. Then find a character who wants something and why they want that. Take them on a road trip in your head or on paper and see what roads can be taken to reach that illusive goal. Keep the plan loose. Maybe one minute a scene that shows the end will occur but make that the goal and also remember this can change. Suddenly the story takes shape and you can write and write until the story you planned comes to an end that may or may not be the one you first envisioned.

1 comment:

Melissa Keir said...

My plans aren't written down but I have the beginning and the conflict and the end. I can't sit and do an outline or such...the characters tend to write themselves.