Saturday, October 17, 2009
To plan or not to plan?
While I know that some incredibly creative writers can simply jump into new projects without an outline or even a basic plan, that really doesn't work for me. Oh, I've tried, but for me this just produces a sloppy mess. Much as I'd like to, I just can't wander into the wilderness of an unwritten story equipped only with a head full of inspired images and a few characters who simply march on ahead of me, leaving footprints behind for me to follow (Ray Braybury does say something like about plot being merely the footprints of his characters). No, I just can not operate like that.
For me, a short story requires a bare-bones plan at the very least. A longer work needs a more detailed outline.
Does a preference to plan things out indicate a lack of trust in the creative process? I do wonder about that sometimes.
Does planning kill creativity outright? No, I don't think so, since even the most detailed plan will likely veer to the right or swerve to the left or tumble down a ravine, and end up being a different story altogether. But when that happens, what should a writer do? Draw up a new plan!
So what's your style?
Do you plan, and if so, how much? Or, like Ray Bradbury, do you follow in your characters' footprints as they march through their own stories?
Posted by Diana at 4:03 PM