Question #4: Where did the planning begin?

5 Mar

UntitledIt is unlikely that there is a writer out there who hasn’t had issues around this. Everyone writes differently with their own process and their own way of translating a plan into the final form. How do other people deal with this one? It’s not exactly the simplest issue to get around when getting on with a piece of writing. As I carry on as questions about the world I’m creating I really need to take time to look over the notes, the planning and how that becomes prose.

As I’ve developed over time the way in which I plan my work has changed drastically. For a long time when writing fan fiction and the odd bit of previous original fiction I didn’t really do any planning. I just wrote. I put pen to page and fingers to keys and let it happen. Of course this meant for a long time that nothing ever really got finished. I would get lost somewhere in the middle of all my rambling on and eventually give up. There’s so many unfinished ideas in barley filled notebooks and journals that will probably never go any where.

The first time that I decided to plan out a piece of prose properly was last summer. So for Christmas 2011 one of my friends bought me the perfect notebook so throughout that year and some of this one I’ve been keeping it as  journal. Summer 2012 I was on holiday after exams with two of my other mates parent free. Being on holiday in a tiny welsh town we had a fair bit of spare time so I found myself scrawling the beginnings of a story in there. About three or four pages in inspiration hit me and I had what I thought was a pretty solid idea to work with. The rest of the summer that wasn’t dedicated to getting ready for uni and worrying about exam results before celebrating exam results ended up being filled with planning towards this story. I had started writing the first chapter when I began to encounter a few problems. I didn’t like the idea anymore.

This happened for quite a few reasons. The main issue here is that like a lot of people I can be a little anal about things. The more I planned the more the story changed, politics got involved and the idea seemed infinitely less believable as I went on. So of course now I just have a few documents of notes and snippets hidden away in a folder on my computer. However a slightly different problem arose as I got further and further into the convoluted planning for a novel I was realistically never going to write. Different ideas kept popping up. Ideas for other stories, other worlds and characters who certainly wouldn’t fit in with what I already had planned. That lead me to where I am right now I guess. Working on this idea of a much grander scale that for all I know may also never be written.

For now I’m ploughing on. I still have a little more planning to do but I’ve managed to get a few pages written so far. Even with a long way to go, it still feels like progress. It feels new and exciting. It feels like I’ve finally got something worth working on and at the end of the day there’s something fantastic about that.

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