Quora Question #10

Today’s questions are about knowing how your novel is going to end or at least planning it out.

As a writer producing a work of fiction, do you tend to know the ending when you start, or do you find out as your write?

For me it all depends.

A lot of the time I’ll first start with an idea. I’ll write on it and see if I can get a decent flow and start to expanding that idea into something that would be able to become a story.

Usually after that I’ll put it aside. Sometimes I put it aside for a few weeks, sometimes forever.

If I want to come back to it bad enough, I usually try and plot it out so I have an idea of where I’m going to go.

BUT. I do not write in order. Or very rarely. I also don’t force myself to stick to what plot I do originally come up with. There have been many times that my outline goes through as many drafts as my novels.

The important thing is to finish. If I can get what I think is a decent idea and get what I want on paper, then I usually will take my original “outline” and finished novel and make a new outline based on the arcs I originally wrote and decide what is worth keeping.

So, after all of this rambling, my answer is yes, I usually know in general where the story is going to go after I develop my idea a little past the original spark.

 

Do you have to know the whole story before you start writing?

I confess to being a pantser turned planner but that is because I discovered through a lot of trial and error that that is what works best for me.

What I always suggest to people who ask me this type of question is to try it both ways. Try to write a very vague timeline of events for your story. If you find yourself struggling with that then set it aside and try actually writing your ideas down. Once you get stuck (because I think we all do periodically) then set it aside and maybe look at that timeline and see if you either stuck to it and try to flesh it out or try to rewrite it out.

Though I admit to being a plotter, I think I’m more of a hybrid of the two sides because I don’t tend to write in a straight line. I write one scene at a time and then once I have a bunch of scenes that is when I go back and write the bits to for them together. Doing it this way has benefited me but may not for you.

I also take a ton of notes while writing this way so I don’t lose track of my ideas and plans and these notes become a rough outline of where I want to take my story.

 

So, my lovelies, how do you write? Do you sit down and plan out everything or do you kind of go with the flow?

Until next time!

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