The Lack of a Plan

I have been a writer for a long time.  Not published mind you, but the writer of fragments of stories over the years.  In the past 5 I have put a bit more dedication into it, but still have not felt comfortable enough to really push what I know I can do.  It has cost me, but I hope I have learned.

Most writers know the story that they are going to write.  They know the characters, the story line and the ending to some degree.  The details mostly come out in the writing but most I would say are planned on during the outlining phase.

I don’t seem to be that kind of writer.  The stories that I have begun with an idea of how to get from beginning to end just sort of fizzle out in the interest department, at least to me.  I get about 20,000 words into them and then I lose interest.

It is not the story or the idea that makes me lose interest.  It is the process of keeping up with the plan.  It seems that I do not do well with writing according to a set plan.

It seems that when I write according to a plan that I come up with where the story wants to go and it does not agree with the destiny that I had intended when I worked out that outline.  More often than not, where the story goes seems to come into conflict with what I had orgionally designed.  The more I work towards getting back into the framework of the outline, the more I find myself at odds with myself on the stability of the story.

I’m not really sure what the problem is.  I should be able to in-cooperate what I have discovered into the outline that I have set up, however, there seems to be a problem.

When I write I focus a lot on the characters. After all, what is a story without characters? Sure you might have a setting, a plot, but none of it matters without someone the reader can connect with. For me the characters are the key not only to the story but to the writing itself.

I can really get into the characters heads some days, even to the point where it is difficult to come back to the real world. While I am in there, I find that the things on the outline don’t mean as much as the problems that the characters face in the immediate moment of the story. Here is where my problem begins. I focus more on what is inside than what is going on around them.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, but I lose track of the plot and it is difficult to pull it back into shape once I know where the characters are at in their minds. What happens with them does not always coincide with what I had planned.

This story that I am writing currently does not have an outline, it does have a vague idea of conflict but it is not set out as to what needs to happen.

There is magic in this. I have already come upon a few surprises that I would never have anticipated in an outline. I am going with this, its how I write, at least for now.


One response to “The Lack of a Plan

  1. For twenty years everyone told me I should write a book, but I wasn’t sure what it would be about. One day I understood my story, so I wrote it down. Now, a decade later, my manuscript is under consideration by several publishers. It may or may not be published but it will be read.


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