I’ve been working on my latest work, An Unexpected Wish, for months now. It had to be reworked. (See last post, it was seriously boring). Now I’m about a third of the way through it and I am already off my plot.
I am a plotter. I work with a extremely detailed outline broke down by the scene. I quickly found that my characters were not happy with my direction for their story. They kept interfering and I let them. The plot evolved partly on plan, partly not until the middle. Then sag, major sag. My mind was blank. I was loosing track of some of the subplots.
Then I had an epiphany. I know how I want the book to end. Why not plot from that point back to the place I stopped? I pulled out my notebook and started plotting backwards.
The more I wrote, the more ideas popped into my head. I started remembering hints and little trails I would have missed had I kept going in a linear fashion. It actually was starting to gel.
I will pick up writing the draft from the end. I’ve already written the Epilogue. I have the final scene done and most of the black moment. Restarting the plot from the end is giving me lots of little hints and conflicts that hadn’t even occurred to me. Those critical scenes for the resolution of the story are now really easy to write. I also can go back to where I left off and add notes for revisions as new rabbit trails occur to me.
I’m by no means a panster. I am a planner. I have to have some kind of map. Up until now, I thought that map had to be traversed in a linear fashion. I would have to start at chapter 1 and continue until I typed “The End.” Previously, I struggled with the middle, uncertain of what my next steps were. This method feels right and comfortable, so I’m going with it for now and see where it leads.
Are you a panster? Plotter? Do you write in a linear fashion or do you jump around? Let me know your process of getting through that first draft.