Tuesday, January 15, 2013

To plot or not to plot?

When I first sat down to write Dragon-Ridden, I had no plan. No characters were etched out and I had no clue what I was going to write about. This flew in the face of everything I had ever learned as a writer, but at that point in time I didn't care. I needed to get my mind off what was going on around me and writing became my outlet. It wasn't until about chapter three that I finally started asking myself where this story was going.

While this process wasn't necessarily a bad one as it let me just flow with what I felt that day, it was often a difficult way to write as I had no way of knowing if the direction I was writing in fit with the overall theme of the story. It resulted in a TON of rewrites. At one point I remember thinking that this was exactly like writing in the novel full time versus the editing I had planned. I was writing so many new scenes and expanding on old ones because a key motivation for the main character changed. That change happened on the first page almost which meant everything else in the book had to change to reflect that.

After that I promised myself I would have some sort of outline before I attempted to write another book. Before I even opened a new document for my current novel I bought a notebook and started taking notes on the characters involved, the world they would live in and what would happen during the course of their story. Parts of this was easy as I had had this book running around in my head for nearly a year but other parts I had to push myself on.

Now that I've started writing I'm thankful I did. Main character descriptions are easier in part because they have already been decided on. Every day when I sit down I know the scene I'm writing and what I want to get out of that scene. Rather then having to feel my way through what is happening, I know what comes next. It makes everything SOO much easier. I know I might have to divert from my outline at some point but for right now it seems to be holding steady.

Though I now prefer to write from an outline, I'm glad I wrote Dragon-Ridden the way I did. It wouldn't have been the book it was if I had planned everything out from the start. It took so many twists and turns while writing and ended up something I totally wasn't expecting. The journey was kind of fun and I learned a lot on the way.


  1. Quite the journey you had, I can only imagine what powers Tate has and what adventures lie between the pages of Dragon-Ridden.

  2. Thanks, it was a journey. One that had its ups and downs and now that it's over I can look back fondly:)