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The other day I posed a simple question to all interested parties who contribute to the Facebook group Writers Etc.
Here is the question and some of the answers proffered.
Q: When writing your WIP(Work In Progress), do you stick with your planned original plot, or do you, like me, allow it to evolve depending on the circumstances your characters find themselves in? Give it some thought before answering.
A: I haven’t plotted NWA or the sequel, only a rough outline, so it takes me wherever the characters want to go. Scary, sometimes.
A: My original plots tend to be ideas headed in a general direction, rather than a detailed outline. Some of my characters are so strong and ‘real,’ there are times I take dictation rather than write. As the story develops, new concepts and realizations occur, which I include. I love the adventure!
A: I have a very rough idea of what I’m going to do but my characters tell the story. I rarely know where a scene is going until it unfolds before me. I couldn’t outline a novel if my life depended on it. lol
A: I’m a pantser through and through so I let it wander whither it wills. I have a general idea of where I need it to go but even then I can be seduced by an “oooh!shiny!”. I usually keep the same ending though.
A: I take my outline and I cut it into pieces and then I throw them in a hat and pick them out one at a time and pray it turns out okay. So far, no complaints except someone pointing out that the dead guy was doing something naughty with an MC and it’s NOT a zombie book. AWKWARD!
If these answers prove anything, it is that we all approach a story fundamentally the same way. You can plan till you are blue in the face, but in the end its your characters who determine the storyline in your WIP, not you.