With or without plans?

I had a day off today so I've had a lot time to write. Today my goal is to finish a chapter I've been writing for two weeks - my studies and a weekend in Helsinki kept me from writing for few days. When the chapter is written, I'll check my word count again.

On this post I'll answer to a question asked by one of my friends at university. If you have something to ask, leave a comment.

Do you write chapters from first to the last one and if not, how do you find it?

Depends on situation. When I was writing the first version of the manuscript, I finished the first chapter before starting next one. I also tried to write some scenes from the middle of the book. However, the plot changed so much during the years that it made writing difficult - my new ideas didn't fit the text I had written and so on. That was when I put the manuscript aside and focused on planning the plot.

I've written my novel with and without plans. When I write chapters in order I don't need to look at my plans so much: I write what I have in my mind and let the story grow. It's quite straightforward and makes daily writing easier.This year I haven't had an order to follow; I've just written what comes naturally - but I couldn't have done it if I didn't have a good, specific plan of the chapter. There is a lot of little things in Young Fighters I have to keep in mind, so planning has been very useful. It has helped me to remember, what happened before the scene I'm writing, specially if I haven't written the things I have to remember. When you want to write a chapter between first and fifth and next a chapter between 15th and 25th, for example, plans are crucial, I think.

If you want to write a good novel, you need to have some plans. The plan doesn't have to be specific: the main thing is that you have some kind of plan. The first plan I made was only a list of events - it only gave me a direction to go and an idea of where to start. A little decision can also be a plan. I made few decisions like "Today I'll make a plan for second chapter", "Next week I'll focus on the opening chapter" and "Now I'll try to write a completely new scene". I think that specific plans work for some and others they don't. They can make a writer anxious and terrified. The only way to find out if they work for you is to try. And remember: plans can always change, so don't worry. Plans are supposed to help you, not to tie you.

Ps. It's winter here now! I had to stare a while when I saw the snow. Everything is white - and cold!

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