Awkward isn’t it? You start out on any project, you’ve completed all of the planning phase despite wanting to get stuck in, you’ve made sure that everything is set in the way you want and you’re confident that the open road of creativity is clear and straight ahead.
And then it isn’t.
The wheels have been turning smoothly for a while when the once straight road starts to bend just a little as the previously well crafted plan gets nudged ever so gently by a new bolt of inspiration. “Instead of making the driver of the car his father, how about his mother instead? Would make the choice later of where they should eat a whole lot more interesting” etc.
So simple a thought but all of a sudden that idea grows another limb, then another head, a third face and pretty soon the demon spawn of Frankensteins bum hole has reared it’s head, your efforts to control the beast next to the route you started out on have crumbled and the confidence you had to start with ran off to join the French Foreign Legion.
The story I started out with ended up being quite some distance away from where I finished. It did indeed start out planned to travel a set route but as described above, the slightest hint of an idea and off I went.just adding fuel to the fire, most of which being the shredded pages of my planning.
But surely that’s a good thing? Surely you have to go with the inspiration rather than just stick with an idea because it happened to be your first? Right?
I did grab onto that crazy bucking beast of inspiration on more than one occasion only to be thrown painfully off and have dust kicked in my face as it laughed its way into the distance. I’d started writing along a new tangent but hadn’t given it enough thought as to how to stitch it into the main narrative. I’d fallen prey to the ‘short term gain, long term load of crap’. Sometimes the ideas made sense and were able to fit into the wider story and they sit happily on the page forever but the tough bit is working out which is which.
As I’ve said in a post on here before, I hate the planning bit. I just want to get stuck in and write. It tends to be though that when I dive in with the wildest abandon, the problems seem to crop up. It’s all about the balance.
Changing what you’re doing mid stride has the chance to deliver the greatest results, therefore change is indeed a good thing, but it also has the power to make an absolute mess of things if you let it, so, also a bad thing.
With so many things in life, you need to strike that careful balance between the methodical crafting of future events or just running off with every new idea just because you can. Just make sure any changes are well thought through or you wind up face in the dust and at least ten chapters further away from finishing.