When it comes to writing, I’m about 82% discovery writer, 18% planning writer. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, but every once in a while I like to have a map so I know where I’m flying to.
In other words, I’ll have this story idea in which I know the beginning, I’ll know the characters, and I know where I want them to end up in about a hundred thousand words. And, of course, the ending is usually one of those things that, in my head, I’m not always sure I understand how they end up there. For instance, I might go in knowing that, about half way through the story they’re going to break up, and by the end they’re together, I just have no idea how it’s going to happen.
This morning as I was making my second cup of tea, excited to share with my Best Friend that I figured out how something happens in my current WIP, I realized how dangerous this can be, and how lucky I was it worked out.
It was my prequel I was working on, and I’m winding down, which means I was getting closer to setting the relationship on fire and burning it to the ground. I’d been building up the tension between my characters, but I had no idea what was going to be the thing that tore it down.
And then it hit me! Without going into plotting details, I realized the answer was kind of there the whole time. As there was this one character who was always opposed to what was taking place, and was always looking for a way to make it go away. He would be the one to make it fall apart, I just realize he was going to be his manipulative, cunning self to get it to happen.
I love it when a plan (or story) comes together.
Yet I know how dangerous this venture could have been. With any other story, I can change the ending, make it fit when, for whatever reason, the one I’d envisioned before no longer did. This one, no matter how badly I would like to, has to keep the one it was destined to have. This story has been more like 28% seat of my pants, 72% planned. And that 28% still had restrictions. Up until this morning, with only *approximately* 5 chapters left to go, I still didn’t know how it fell apart exactly, and what makes it stay damaged for six years.
I feel like I’m going to come out of writing this one with a little more war wounds to my psyche than I normally do, but I’ll have learned from them, and I’m satisfied with how it’s going to come together.
Have you ever done that? Gone into a story with no idea how it’s going to come together, but know that you can’t change the ending to make it fit how you’d like?