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Anyone else write without any plan or outline even and just see what happens?

BearBear

Troubadour
In my case, the world is well known, the races are well known the history is well known, I could just pick a date and go.

I thinking about doing that again. Basically I just have an idea, two lines of dialog and a single scene. I'm thinking I could just go wild again without any planning.

Am I crazy? Have you done this?
 

pmmg

Vala
I think this is not uncommon. I suspect its more the norm. My writing currently feels a little bit like walking towards a goal where there is a great chasm of ‘i dont know where this path is going’ beneath me but the steps magically appear just as i am putting my foot forward. The goal gets closer so i am okay with it.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
Whilst you can shoot from the hip when you write it is generally less successful. I am severely dyslexic so I don't have written plans, outlines or character notes for any of my stories - its simply too much work. But, I do think through the story before I start writing. I don't think it through in detail, but I do have an idea of where I want the story to go and roughly how it will end. That doesn't mean that the story is fixed, it can develop and change as I write. You have to allow yourself some flexibility.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
I think this is not uncommon. I suspect its more the norm. My writing currently feels a little bit like walking towards a goal where there is a great chasm of ‘i dont know where this path is going’ beneath me but the steps magically appear just as i am putting my foot forward. The goal gets closer so i am okay with it.

I really find this exciting and fun when the story writes itself.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Not me. Oh dear no. Last book I drafted had a 100 page outline. I need to know where I'm going before I can get there. But, that being said, you do you. If you have words in your head and a fire in your belly, find the rabbit and follow it down the hole. It will lead you to Wonderland.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
In my case, the world is well known, the races are well known the history is well known, I could just pick a date and go.

I thinking about doing that again. Basically I just have an idea, two lines of dialog and a single scene. I'm thinking I could just go wild again without any planning.

Am I crazy? Have you done this?

I used to do this all the time - and wrote myself into many a corner as a result. Quite of my few tales stalled out and died that way, though a few might come back to life.

Name brand authors have also stalled out doing this - George RR Martin wrote himself into a dead end with the book version of 'Game of Thrones' because he didn't plan ahead.

Anymore, save for test stories, where I explore some world or concept, I do not begin a tale without a fairly solid notion of the beginning, middle, and end. For shorter tales - call it under 20,000 words, I don't normally create an outline; longer than that, I pretty much have to. That said, I 'see' the story as a sequence of 'mental movie clips' that I proceed to write out. My outlines are seldom more than a couple pages, with each chapter having three or five very short sentences or phrases describing what each clip that is. Typically, I end up redoing it about halfway through the story.
 
Each writer is different and has his own process. Stephen King writes like this (though he does have a decent idea of where the story goes when he starts). Brandon Sanderson on the other hand plans out his stories.

I tried writing like this. I started a tale with a few scenes in mind and an idea of the ending. After the first few chapters I'd written those scenes, and I found I had no idea what to write or where to go. I started plotting out the story and found that works much better for me. I know where to go and what to write.

One comment I've come across, was that pantsers (as in, writers who have no outline but write by the seat of their pants) tend to have better characters but worse endings than plotters. The reason is that people who just write tend to focus on what the characters do and where they go. But this can mean that the story simply end sometimes. While plotters tend to work things out in advance, and end up with a great plot, but sometimes this does force the characters into less obvious directions. Of course, this is a very broad generalization, and I'm sure you can find examples of both where it's not the case. But it's just something to be aware of.
 

Curatia

Scribe
I work both ways. For novels, I am a plotter and then some. Lowan's 100-page outline for the last project was my brainchild. I find that plotting and extensive outlining allows me to visualize the moving parts of the plots and characters both better. I think of it like doing pre-vis work for a movie or animated feature. My outlines include big chunks of important dialogue and the blocking for any complicated choreography. It is invaluable for fight scenes. Some people might call what I do a pre-write.

Having said that, I never outline or pre-vis short fiction pieces, especially any of the many flashes set in our world. Short fiction is an excellent place to let the creativity take the lead and use it to capture one short period of time.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
I work both ways. For novels, I am a plotter and then some. Lowan's 100-page outline for the last project was my brainchild. I find that plotting and extensive outlining allows me to visualize the moving parts of the plots and characters both better. I think of it like doing pre-vis work for a movie or animated feature. My outlines include big chunks of important dialogue and the blocking for any complicated choreography. It is invaluable for fight scenes. Some people might call what I do a pre-write.

Having said that, I never outline or pre-vis short fiction pieces, especially any of the many flashes set in our world. Short fiction is an excellent place to let the creativity take the lead and use it to capture one short period of time.

I challenged myself to write a short fiction, it was only 50-60k words. I'm still amazed that I could hold back.
 
Ideally, I start with a strong collection of "set pieces" or dramatic moments I know need to happen, but it isn't always that ideal and could just be a single scene. One could call it pantsing between plot points, or as it came to be known on these boards, Waypoint Writing. The Contessa started as a single beginning concept scene, then developed an ending with a wild unknown between. The first scene has more or less stayed the same, while the concept of the ending has stayed the same with details twisting and turning. Set pieces then just sort of developed as I went along, and the trouble came when hitting the finale and realizing my ending was complicated as hell with all kinds of plates in the air that needed to crash or get caught. I'm still sorting out threads and finding ones that need their ends burnt or cut off, heh heh.

Oh! The most awkward part was having a few chapters that would "crossover" with other novels, so the timing and stories had to align. That was both fun and a pain in the ass.
 
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