Last week I recommended making a plan before you begin to write. This week the advice is:
Tip 8 – Break a Plan
Once you have your blueprint for success and start writing your book, you could find that something quite extraordinary happens. The characters might begin to think for themselves, and act in ways that were not in your mind when you wrote the outline.
Sometimes entirely new characters suddenly appear, fully formed and complete, taking the story in directions you hadn’t anticipated.
If either of these things should happen, you should send a silent message of thanks to the story fairy, and write until your fingers ache. This development means that your tale has come alive in your mind, and is now going down a path of its own.
For some writers, this never occurs, but, if it happens to you, now is the time to break the plan so carefully thought out in the last section, and go with the story as it unfolds in your mind.
You may still find you end in exactly the same place you had plotted, but the route to that point could change dramatically.
You might wonder why anyone should go to the trouble of writing a detailed outline and then not follow it to the letter. The reason for the effort is that it is highly unlikely your story will take on its own identity unless you have a very clear idea of who your characters are, what motivates them and what you are intending as the eventual outcome.
Every writer is different and, for some, regardless of the characters taking over, adhering to the outline is best for them. Follow your instincts and either stick to the plan or allow the story free rein. Go with whichever feels right for you.
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