Pre-Planning Just Saved My Draft

I used to be the kind of writer who thought that planning too much would stifle me.

To some extent that's still true, mostly because I know that I can swamp myself in ridiculous levels of detail for a setting or minor character. I can spend hours researching some little point that I later decide doesn't fit the plot. That time isn't totally wasted; it sometimes sparks an interesting idea later on. It does feel like a really inefficient way to work, though.

With this latest project, I think I've had a better handle on outlining the story and characters to a degree that's useful rather than overwhelming. And when my first three tries at an opening scene fell flat, a little more time spent with my outline helped me figure out why.

I consolidated a couple of characters, added a new one, and tried to balance the structure a little more evenly between both sides of my story. It feels so much better now. There's still a lot to do, but at least I can move on knowing that I handled one looming disaster before it wrecked my draft.

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