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No Plot, No Problem: How to Write Without A Clue Where it's Going

Now, I’ve been talking a lot in the past few weeks about planning novels and I just want to remind everyone, novels don’t necessarily need to be planned! Not at all. In fact, a good number of writers hate planning. It’s completely understandable. I don’t blame ‘um. So, how do you write without all the planing? Simple, you just do it. Here’s some guided tips:

  • What’s your premise? The premise can be summed up in one word or five - usually short and to the point. It’s a concept that carries the novel, like A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee: The dysfunctional family is dysfunctional ( 5 words ) or Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: sexy vampire love story ( 4 words ). Of course, I’m leaving things out and there’s more to it, but in a couple of words, you get the major gist of it.
  • Know your characters or at least, get to know them. You either should go into the story knowing them, or spend a lot of time getting to know them while writing. Getting to know them while actually writing will be a little harder, just because it might mean a lot more editing later on to make them consistent, but both ways are very effective. Why this is important: If the plot isn’t carrying the novel, that weight falls on the characters. Make sure they’re strong enough to hold it up! 
  • Write with the ending in mind. You might not know where it’s going, but always keep thinking of the possible endings. You don’t want a lame ending. Seriously, it makes or breaks a book. There are some books that I didn’t even like until I read the ending. There were books I loved and were tainted beyond recognition by the ending. You don’t want a bad ending. You don’t have to know how it’ll go or what it’ll be, but make sure it’s epic. 

You don’t need to plan the story out to make it successful. Seriously. It’s not for everyone and it won’t make your writing better or worse for not planning. These tips are meant to make you successful as you write. My next two projects are going to be “unplanned” because some projects just require that. There’s no way you can know how some situations will go until it’s down in writing. 


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