Story Board or Going From the Seat of Your Pants?

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Story board or going from the seat of your pants? This is a question that I often ask myself before and during writing something, especially something as long as a novel.  Do I want to know all the adventures my characters are going to be going on so I properly know how to lead up to scenes or do I want to go where the story takes me and if I need to go back and edit later so be it? I have tried it both ways and I can see the pros and cons with both methods.

With a story board I can clearly see how I need to build up a character, to make them grow to evolve to the story I want to achieve, the events that I want to unfold.  I can easily predict when an enemy may “pop” out at the characters and plan for an exit strategy. However I find that I don’t really get to surprise myself with unexpected twists or new relationships that I might not have been seen from the first stages of planning. I seem to sometimes get stuck in the formula of what the outline or plan is instead of catering to my character and their own growth.

Moreover, without a story board I am able to let the story develops as it wants to develop. Sometimes it takes a lot of editing on my end to make sure all the details are in the correct place but I find that my characters develop a little bit more naturally, they grow into themselves and are put in situations they really don’t know how to get out of. It is rather instead of me telling the characters story the character is telling me there story and I am just happening to write it down to capture the moment.

To me I think I need a way to merge the two together, to make it more like real life. People going through their lives may plan to go to collage, have a family or a career job or both, they may plan to take a vacation every year and retire when they are sixty-five but sometimes those plans just don’t always happen as you thought they would happen and those obstacles in our way is what defines us as ourselves, they add to our growth.  That is the ultimate goal for me, I know some writers use story boards and some are completely able to go from the seat of their pants but I think many of us like a little of both. A little excitement we might not even been expecting from ourselves and from our characters but know the end goals of what we want out of our work.

My thoughts anyways, what are yours?

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