[Quick plug: If you have a moment, head over to my Campaigns page (https://www.antitopia.com/campaigns.html). I'm in dire need of a non-dying laptop and your support will help me get there. Thank you, and feel free to spread the links around!]
I am a “pantser”. This is one who writes “by the seat of their pants”, or without a specific plan. There are many methods for writing, and proponents of each, but I have found that there are none which meet my needs. This works well for me because I prefer the story be in control rather than me. I don’t trust myself with a plan. Others like the “plotter/planner” idea, which I can understand. It is alluring to know with precision where and what will happen, to whom, and why.
My experience with planning is that I get bored. For me, the story has already unveiled itself and there is no sense in putting it down. I do, however, use a few planning methods. I never plan to the end, and the amount of planning depends on the size of the story. The three main stories of the Antitopia universe would become overwhelming to track with no guidance. I am using the “world-building leviathan” which comprises 52 questions/steps to glue your world together. It brings things to mind which you might not consider, and those are the interesting parts for me to plan. They have little to do with the main story, but they give me resources to draw from when I get stuck on something.
I can only drive a quarter of the way through the process before boredom sets in. Who wants to write about how the direct predecessor of the Artificial Collective developed the credit system used by the AIDA units? I don’t, and I don’t want to read it, either. But having that information available has helped me form a better relationship with my characters, especially those within the Collective.
The larger problem with writing methods is they become fidget spinners. If I play with them too long, I get nothing done. With a universe as massive as Antitopia (it spans several billion years and uncalculated galaxies) I have to use some planning. I don’t want Brian Tate showing up next to an AIDA unit on the third earth or something silly. Knowing when to leave the details alone is a craft without which I would continue spinning and balancing until I lost interest.
I want to know how my stories end. Though I know how I would like them to resolve, I never know until the story is in your hands. And so, I write until the story tells me it is done. No matter the method or plan, the words flow. Thank you for being readers.