There are basically two ways of going about writing and plotting a story. I like to describe them as:
- The Path of Least Resistance
- The Path of Most Resistance
You belong to the path of least resistance if:
- You have very little idea of where the story is going when you start.
- Characters crop up wily nily in your story.
- You write the first sentence and then think up your second.
- A character’s words or actions surprise you.
- You had no idea that particular character was going to graduate, elope, die.
You belong to the path of most resistance if:
- You know exactly what is going to happen to your character in every chapter.
- You know your main character’s favourite toothpaste.
- If a character tries to surprise you, you whip him/her back into shape.
- You can tell the entire story to a third party, like, right now.
Hopefully you have figured out which group you fall in to. Here are the pros and cons of following either of the two extremes:
As you have probably deduced, a little of both paths is probably the best way forward. But more about that later…