Planning isn’t everything

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there on the interwebs.

Now on to the actual post:

Sometimes I have amazing ideas for stories. In my head they’re crystal clear and I can see the finished product. Transferring those thoughts to paper (or computer screen as is usually the case) is often hardest for stories like this.  Stories that I see with perfect clarity require the perfect words, which are often difficult to come by. Finding those words can be like pulling the teeth from a rabid wolverine’s mouth, a difficult task to say the least. At least I’m assuming it would be difficult, maybe even impossible. Believe it or not, I’ve never actually attempted to pull a rabid wolverine’s teeth so I can’t say with 100% certainty.

I prefer when a story is hazy in my mind, giving me only bits and pieces of the important parts. I find those kinds of stories flow from my fingertips much smoother than a story I’ve thought out to the smallest detail.

Sometimes I can’t help but over think a story. Sometimes it starts out hazy but then my idiot mind insists on honing it to perfection to the point that my words couldn’t possibly do it the justice it deserves. I don’t like when that happens. I hate it in fact. Too much thought makes it difficult to get the story written on the pages to match exactly with the images in my mind. With a hazy story, only certain parts need to match exactly. The focus can lie on telling the story between those parts rather than searching for the right words the whole way through. Writing with the perfect words is exhausting and not meant for a first draft, but an over thought idea demands that sort of attention.

I like having a general overview of the story to know all the pieces are going to work together, but at the same time let the details work themselves out as I clatter away at the keyboard. They work themselves out much nicer on the fly, for me at least.

You may be different, but for me, over planning stifles my creativity just as much as writer’s block.

Which way do you lean? Do you prefer to plan everything out or learn the details of the story as you go?

Comments, criticism or half drunken rants?

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