So, do you plan or do you write-as-you-go?

It may come as no surprise to know I don't plan. Not really. I get the basic idea for the story and just run with it, letting inspiration hit me as I go. It means I have to keep very extensive notes so I don't forget things, but I never have a “map” of what event leads to what before I write it. 

All Plot Roads Lead to Rome... via Bath...
I certainly keep track of things as I write them. I have a list of all the locations in my novel so I know where the characters are going next, but I've had to adapt this list several times because I'll be writing and then all of a sudden I go in a completely unexpected direction and add something new in-between existing events.

I wake up next to my little post-it note collection. This is the tip if my note-keeping iceburg.

I know of writers who plan everything.  I loved looking at how extensive their plans were. One writer I knew wrote a timeline with offshoots of what-ifs and possible events just so she covered all possibilities. It worked really well for her, and her writing was such a joy to read.

Me? I get bored if I plan in advance. It doesn't work for me. If I sat down and wrote a plan, I'd never bother writing the story. I love the feeling of making it up as I go along. That's not to say I never know where a story's going – I almost always have the ending in mind and if I don't, I usually know where the first chunk of the story is going.  Sometimes I have no clue and just make it up until something hits me and I write it down for later reference.  I'm not sure if my way is the right way, but it works and I'm having lots of fun!


  1. Yeah, I don't really have in-detail outlines of everything, either. But I'll jot down ideas that I get here and there, write the scenes and then that leaves tons of space for unexpected things to pop up! It's fun that way, when you THINK you have an idea of where the story is going to go and it goes "NOPE! This way!" It's definitely more fun that way.

  2. That last paragraph says it all! I don't plan at all, really. If I tried to make an outline or something, by the time I was done I would feel done with the story and wouldn't want to write it all down again. Also, I agree with Gracie - it's fun when you have a vague idea where the story is going but then suddenly your brain takes it in a different direction!

  3. Gracie: I find it's the most exciting way to write!

    Laura: That's how I feel about outlines. They're time-consuming too, and I'd rather use the time writing the actual story.


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