I’ve been posting about ways of keeping free-form creativity going while still keeping on track in NaNoWriMo. Or – indeed – on track in anything you’re writing.
That doesn’t avert the need to plan, though. Planning pays dividends – big dividends – when you’re working to timeline. Here are five reasons why.
- Planning keeps you on track. It means the story doesn’t wander, and it’ll have the right structure. Even if you revise the words later, that first-time-right structure means a LOT less re-writing, later.
- If you’ve got a plan, you’ll usually do the ‘creative writing’ part a lot faster, because you’ve already done the hard work figuring out where the story’s going and how it will develop. That’s vital for any writer on a deadline.
- Plans act as a ‘bad first draft’. You can shake out the wrinkles from the story before it’s written. Guess what – that means more productivity to time.
- With a plan, if you dry up at one part of the story you can jump to another. Maybe things will flow better there. Then back-fill. It’s a productivity trick made easy by word processors. And planning.
- Plans force you to have the whole story in mind before starting – which means you can focus on the closer details when writing, instead of struggling with strategic direction.
Plans don’t have to be hugely detailed, of course – as we’ve seen, a skeletal plan is often enough to act as a guide, and you can go off and do the fun free-form creativity around it.
But what happens when you get the proverbial Good Idea half-way through? One that just HAS to be written into the story?
Well – there are things to do there, too. Strategies that might not derail productivity – you know, the NaNo word count. More about that soon.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015