As many of you know, I write across three genres – YA contemporary, Sci-fi, and Dystopian. The YA contemporary and Sci-fi manuscripts are all mine, but when it comes to writing Dystopian, I rely on the equally dark mind of my amazing writing partner, Lindsay. Problem is, we are both pansters. Either one of us could tell you where our manuscript starts and where it will end, but as for the stuff in the middle, we have no clue until we actually write it.
So how does that work – two non-plotters collaborating on a book? Surprisingly, with great ease. It's when we start drawing out our chapter maps that mayhem ensues!
Sunday night we skyped for about an hour, had the entire next chapter planned out and ready to be written. It was the first time in some 40,000 words that we actually had a solid plan, and I felt pretty good. You know what happened – nothing. We stewed and wrote, and revised, and deleted, and rewrote for the better part of two days trying to figure that darn chapter out. Why was it so hard? Because we planned it out. Both of us felt confined to the parameters we had set for the chapter, boxed in with a set beginning and end with no room for creative freedom. Once we threw the plan out, agreed to write whatever came regardless of where it led us, the words flew out and the entire chapter came into shape.
So no more plotting for us, or at least me. We are going to stick to the plan that works . . . which incidentally is no plan at all!