When I first began my writing, many many years ago I was a Pantser through and through.
Then as time passed and I learned more, I began to do little bits of planning. It was restricted to the odd note, maybe a page of notes, but not much more. At the start of the story I would relish this. Adore the fact that I was going on the adventure with my characters and couldn’t wait for the next surprise to greet us.
Yet sadly, frequently I’d have a shiny new idea halfway through the story and go back to rewrite the beginning to fit this. While doing that I’d have another idea and would thus began a vicious circle. Inevitably at some point I’d be sick of the whole thing and want to give up.
So at the beginning of the year I thought I’d try being a Planner. I read up on writing character profiles, world-building, researched everything, created detailed histories, chapter planning – the whole shebang.
Result? I knew what I was supposed to be doing but when distractions came my way I gave up on writing much more easily than before, because the thrill wasn’t there.
In the end, for much of this (and last year) neither approach would have kept me writing. There are amazing writers out there who will write through hospital visits, emergency phone calls, redundancy threats and whatever else Fate has in store that month – I am not one of them. Maybe one day I will be.
'No infant has the power of deciding..... by what circumstances (they) shall be surrounded' - Robert Owen
But as the end of the year neared I started to think about picking up a pen. I found a story that needs telling, characters to love… but neither approach seems to work for me.
Having decided to try Nanowrimo, I’ve been attempting to build a bridge between the two.
Yes, I have character profiles but they aren’t as detailed as before. Yes, there is world-building and research but I’ve kept it to a minimum. If I need to do more, I can always do it after the first draft is done. There is a history and a timeline but I have room to change things…
I know where my story goes, but how my characters get there is still an adventure.