In the ongoing debate between planners and pantsers, I am firmly committed to both sides. I want to know where I am going, plotwise. I want to know the direction of my character’s arc. BUT I want to be free to change my mind.
If a story is a journey, I like to know where I’m going and how I’m getting there. But I want to be able to change plans and stay another night at a scenic spot, or stop for lunch, or even to enjoy the plane being diverted to another city by bad weather. My favorite moments in writing are the ones where an idea crashes into my head, like an anvil onto Yosemite Sam. “What if he’s really dead all the time?” or, “What if she left her wallet at the party?” or “What if their uncle is in the mafia?” Such moments (maybe not those specific ones) improve the story.
Today, Melanie and I are working out our character arcs. My guy seems set for now. He’s doing some heavy lifting, working from unlikeable loser to … something less unlikeable and slightly more successful. Her guy is dealing with autonomy, agency, stuff like that.
Still no words on the page. But soon, though. I’ll keep you posted.