I’m an exploratory writer. Which means that I write without a plan.
Basically, I get an idea or a character or sometimes even just a first line and then I start writing. The story unfolds itself. The characters tell me what they want to do and where they want to go. The book opens up in front of me as though I’m reading it and not writing it. It’s a wonderful exercise in imagination and stamina.
I love that I write this way because it means I don’t get bored. I’m also not constraining myself to a plot that’s already been mapped out. In fact, I find that if I plan ahead, I have more trouble writing. It’s like because I already know the story and the ending, I don’t need to write it down. But if I don’t know what’s going to happen next, then I can put pen to paper and find out.
I know that not everyone writes like I do. Not everyone understands how I can write like this. I get it.
It would be wonderful if I could map out a story, draw up an outline, know how to get from point A to B to C and arrive comfortably at an ending. Instead, I write in circles, have multiple missteps, tend to get “blocked” when I don’t know what to do next, and — the worst of it all — don’t always tell a narratively cohesive and developmentally growing story.
But the problem is – if I did all that planning, I’m not so sure I’d want to write at all. That’s not what writing is about for me. It’s about exploration. It’s about movement. It’s about finding out what happens next.
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