Plotting vs spontaneity
When I start work on a new book or story, I draft out a plotline, pinpointing characters, situations, backgrounds, and so on. However, as the work progresses, I find myself increasingly diverting from my notes and going in a totally different direction to what I originally intended. So why bother plotting things out? Well, I used to just slap words onto the page, without thought or care, and would later on find plot holes and inconsistencies all over the place. Yet I still write spontaneously, from time to time. Why is this?
The reason why is that I’m an impatient person by nature and want things to happen quickly. To get round this problem, I now approach my writing in two ways. Once I get an idea, I make notes, as mentioned above, then begin to write by the seat of my pants. Contradictory? Not for me. I’ve found that it’s easier to bang the words out on the old computer, then go back to my notes from time to time, and readjust, or discard, certain elements of the story/book. The result? I get the best of both worlds: quickness and consistency.
So what works for you? How do you write – fast and furious – or slow and careful?