Plotting, planning, outlining, etc

Once again I find myself in two minds about something. This time it’s about planning.

Planning is not something I tend to be good at, and I don’t just mean with writing. But since writing is what this blog is supposed to be about, I’ll focus on that.

When I first started the House Valerius series, before I knew it would be a series, I didn’t plan the book at all. I just started writing. And I kept going. I don’t recall ever making any kind of outline or mapping out chapters to be written. The most I can say is that I knew at least one major plot point that I wanted to hit.

I finished House Valerius (or In My Father’s House as I called it back then) and I started to think about A House Divided. That one I did try to outline. I’m still not sure if it helped. Some of the things in the outline made it in, mostly in the middle third, I think. But just as much didn’t and I was back to seeing where things led me for the end of the book.

So now I’m looking down the barrel of book 3, House In Exile; as well as playing about with a couple other pieces which may become something (or may not, we’ll see) and I’m wondering whether or not to try plotting/outlining again.

Would it be any different this time around? I don’t know.

Do I want to try? I’m not sure.I still think it could be a valid thing to do, I just don’t know if it’s something that would necessarily work for me. It still seems more natural to me to let the story lead me where it will, rather than trying to make it confirm to a preconceived plan. But then, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me as long to write the first two books if I’d planned better. Maybe the thing to do is plan, write, then adjust the plan as needed. Or maybe just write faster.

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