1 – Which Kind of Writer Are You?
The real trick with planning is to figure out what works for you. Maybe you’re the type who needs to plunge in and write the first draft, and then figure out what to do with the resulting mess; maybe you’re the type who can’t write anything without extensive notes and planning beforehand; maybe you’re the type who changes your mind on the way through the first draft and ends up with something that makes no sense at all, but which is nevertheless a vital step along the way.
Any of these approaches can work, but not for every writer. It’s vital to figure out what works for you, and of course the only way to do it is to try.
So write the first chapter. With no preparation other than what you already know from all the notes you made when you had the idea (you made some notes on the idea, right?)
A lot of things might happen, but you’ll probably find yourself somewhere between these two poles:
1. As soon as you begin, the whole thing starts sparking, you discover the characters all have their own voices and it’s no trouble at all to keep going. On the other hand, it’s a bit of a mess when you read it back – some parts too long, some too short, and it wanders off into tedious cul-de-sacs every now and then. It’s basically unreadable but there’s a lot of good stuff buried in there. Chances are, you enjoyed the process, even if you felt a bit lost sometimes. Continue reading