When I started writing the Oddball trilogy, I just started. I didn't even know it was going to turn into a trilogy. It was supposed to be this innocent little stand-alone. A fun project.
Now it's AGONY!
I am mildly kidding.
The point though is that I was purely pantsing. The only character I had was Oddball. After writing got the gears moving, I could plan ahead. But not much.
I usually write through things. (It is a very plausible way to deal with life. . .). I also write myself into corners. *cough*
So when I started writing Oddball the Sequel, I wanted to know what I was doing.
Except. . . I didn't.
How do you sequel? I had no idea (still don't, if you must ask).
So I decided to try the plotting thing. I would teach myself how. Not my most brilliant moment. But now I have a plot wall. Because it's fun, okay?
The colors originally were supposed to mean. . . something. But then I ran out of certain colors and with that all pretenses of organization went out the window.
Honestly, I was pantsing as I was plotting. I came up with things on the spur of the moment, made snap decisions and a lot of up-in-the-air undecisions. I'm not sure it matters much though. Sometimes I can't even read my own writing.
Even after the plot wall went up, I kept forgetting names of side characters. Most of them are unexpected characters. Which means I come up with their names on the spot. Which means I am apt to forget their names in 0.3 seconds.
There are a couple of scientist who I refer to as "one of the scientists," "the one that Rocky lifted off the ground," and "that guy Oddball didn't take a liking to."
There's also a handful of Shamdram soldiers known as "the leader," "the talkative one," and "the one who didn't get his dinner" (yeah, he was not happy about that).
So I recently made a list of minor characters to add to the plot wall.
Even with a plot, I still write myself into corners. But that's okay. I rather like having a puzzle that I have to write my way out of (and if I don't have one, I won't write for a month).
For instance, how do you keep a band of soldiers from their patriotic life-long duty without taking their weapons from them in broad daylight?
I'm hoping the answer is "distract them by setting a wildfire."
The other day though. I realized that
1) My document is 90,000+ words. Although, some of those words are brainstorming, and some scenes may need to relocated to the last book. Still, that's lot since:
2) I'm only a third of the way through.
3) Something seems off with my timeline. It sounded great for the two years I've been planning this thing. But now:
needs to be switched with this
should probably never happen.
5) My "that one scene" has now been rescheduled with a new location, and I am thoroughly confused.
At the moment, my WIP and I are at some sort of stalemate.
So how goes your WIP? Do you have a plot wall? Do you ever write yourself into corners?