The Art of Writing: Re… Planning?

They say the art of writing is rewriting.

It may well be. However, I think much can be said for re-planning. I’ve posted before about my experience with Exile. I planned too much. I spent months on it. When I started writing, I suddenly felt like all my creativity was constrained by one plan. A detailed, unforgiving plan. I felt that if I strayed from it at all, then things would fall apart around me, and so I had no freedom as I wrote. It didn’t work. The plan collapsed.

But from the ruin emerged a huge amount of hope. Above, I did not write ‘I wasted months on it‘. Those months I spent on planning had provided me with a rich universe of ideas including characters, planets and lore waiting for the right story to bring them all to life. I stood back. Refocused.

Last week, as my mind churned over a million work-related thoughts, a new plot formulated in the shadowy depths of my imagination. It is an idea I can take, play around with, and see where it goes. I’m not going to over-plan it. An outline is plenty. Stepping stones to guide me. But around that, I have nothing to stop my creative impulsiveness from wherever it may decided to take me as I write.



Chris Phethean is a writer and blogger. He is working on a range of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure stories, and dreams of writing interactive narratives for video games. Find him on and Twitter.


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