I decided every Wednesday should be devoted to either answering questions from my readers or giving words of advice. Today, I decided to give a piece of advice I learned while writing my newest novel (the third book in my Atlantis series).
Most writers I know map out their plots in some way. Most who know me would be suprised by this declaration, so let me explain. I hate outlines just as much as I hate the arizona summer heat. I feel they constrict me, limiting my creativity. With that being said, I always know the ending to a novel. I need to have a destination before I can plow forward. But, I also do a rough three chapter breakdown as I write. It's kind of like chess. You gotta have future moves in mind, a strategy so-to-speak, before just moving pieces.
But, whether maping out the entire plot or just a few chapters at a time, I think the best advice I can give is to be flexable. Things change in the course of a plot. For instance, my characters last week led me to my destination a little quicker than I had anticipated. But, despite the minimal planning I let them. Otherwise, the story would seem forced. I wasn't rushing, I was just following with the flow of the story. I think it is important not to be too regid in mapping novel plots.
So, my adavice for this week: Don't force things to stay according to plan. Allow ideas to develop and change as the novel progresses. Your story will be much better as a result.
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