“Planning your novel ahead of time increases its likelihood of being dead on arrival.” from the NY Book Editors Planning to Outline Your Novel? Don’t.
I’ve always kind of adopted this mentality. Whenever I sit down and try to plot and plan out a novel, it never ends well for me. Sure, I have a series of points all lined up and ready to go, but when I set out to actually outline a story? I always feel like I’m trying to hit checkpoints, like if I don’t pass certain points along the way the story that I’m setting out to write is just going to fall flat. But I also feel like if I don’t have those particular checkpoints the story won’t go anywhere, and it’ll get there in a big damn hurry.
“When you head into a piece of writing without the planning, the job of the writer is to create.” And this is where I am right now. I’m sitting here, not worrying about a word count or even a page count. I have an idea that I would love to get down on paper, an opening scene for the newly revamped Tequila Mockingbird. I’m sitting at a table, headphones on and playing some playlist that I’ve been setting up over the past few weeks — playlists for me are always a work in progress, okay? — and I think I’ve gotten… a paragraph of this new scene on paper.
This is where adopting a new mentality is going to be difficult for me. I’ve always had it in my head that I have to write a specific number of words, or a specific number of pages. But writing without a set goal in mind? I’m not sure if I can accomplish this the way that I would like.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t try.