When it comes to planning for my WIPs I am a self confessed Panster and I’m good with that. I’ve talked about the benefits and pitfalls in previous blogs. But for some reason when I started to think about my latest WIP, The Wasps Nest, I decided to do some planning, it’s a multiple POV book spanning 25 years and it has complications that I’ve never worked with before. I guess I was scared and I succumbed to the idea that my previous way of working just wasn’t up to this new task.
Well you know what I was wrong.
I did the planning and actually it was a pretty impressive document, I wrote character profiles and time lines and all sorts of other impressive looking things. You want to know what happened next? I spent 25000 words sticking to that plan until I came to the realisation that nothing was working.
I scrapped the lot and started again, the character profiles were good but to be honest I had those in my head anyway, they didn't need to be written down.
If detailed planning works for you, then great have at ‘em, plan till your hearts content because that’s what you need. What I need (and I knew this) is the ability to be able to move with a story, letting evolve and change as I go along. For me this means more work at the editing stage and I am good with that.
I really hope that I remember the lesson I have learnt; that just because a project is different, complicated or big doesn’t mean I have to change everything about my creative process. I have to do what works for me.