complicated plot--should I continue planning or start writing?

by Lauren
(U.S.A.)

Question: Ok, hi. This is my first time on this website and I have found a lot of helpful tidbits on writing so far. So I've been plotting a novel for about three or four months now and I think I'm ready to actually start writing...

Problem: I haven't written a complete summary of the story
and I don't exactly have all the kinks worked out...so do you think that I can start writing? The plot is the only thing that I'm worried about...it's a little complicated, but I think the characters are pretty well developed. Thank you in advance.

(By the way... I am only 13... this is the first time I have ever tried writing a novel).

Answer: First, I think it's fantastic that you're working on a novel at your age.

Second, if you feel ready to start writing, you probably are. Give in to the urge.

If you get stuck, you can always go back and do some more detailed plotting until the story becomes clear. However, the story and characters can also become clearer as you do the writing.

While pure "plotters" try to write a complete outline before they start the actual writing, other writers will write one chapter -- perhaps the first, or the last, or the crisis -- before they do any plotting at all. Others will write little pieces of the story, then figure out a master plan into which all the pieces will fit, and finally go back and fill in the gaps. And other writers will simply write the story from beginning to end with only the sketchiest of outlines (a sentence or two).

You have to find your own method. But I would trust your instinct. If you feel a strong urge to plan, then plan. If you feel a strong urge to write, then write. And if tomorrow your instinct says do the opposite, do that. Anything that keeps you motivated and moving toward a final draft is good.

The hardest thing for most writers (of any age) is to keep writing until the story is finished. Doing whatever part you find exciting, interesting, and fun at the moment is a great way to stay enthused and keeps you making progress.

It helps to write/plot a little every day, so the story stays fresh in your mind. That may not always be easy, what with homework and other demands on your time, but even half an hour each day can add up.

Sometimes you may also feel the urge to take a day off. That can be okay too. Your subconscious can work on the story while you do other things.

The only thing to watch out for is if you start avoiding writing because you're feeling anxious about it or frustrated with yourself. If that's the case, it helps if your day off involves something fun and relaxing, so you can return to the writing feeling calm, positive, and energized.

Best of luck.

Comments for complicated plot--should I continue planning or start writing?

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Jan 22, 2015
Thank You!!!
by: Lauren

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help. I think I'll go with my instinct like you suggested and plot the whole story out before I begin writing. Thank you again!!!

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