Monday, September 19, 2011

The Problem with Being a Planner

I don’t ever tried to hide the fact that when it comes to the planner/pantser divide between writers, I fall firmly on the side of planners.  (Except when it comes to writing these blog entries.  With these, frankly, I’m usually winging it.  I’m sure it shows.) 
My problem with Planning, however, is my desire to Plan will kick into overdrive.  I don’t just plan a book.  I plan a series of books.  I plan long term.  I plan the full weave of things where sewing one thread into a story now is going to pay off in some imagined piece years down the line.
Which, given my current status as a writer, is kind of putting the cart before the horse.  I haven’t sold Thorn of Dentonhill yet.  I haven’t finished Holver Alley Crew or Maradaine Constabulary in a “this is ready to send to publishers” way.  (Both I’m in the process of re-writing.)  I haven’t even finished the first draft of Way of the Shield.  Does it matter that I have a six-book plan for each of those series?  Does anyone care?  Is it even a good idea to have such a plan?  Should I stop talking, like, right now?
It creates a problem, of course, because now and then, while writing, I get excited for scenes that are a long way off.  A LONG way.  And I write myself a little note and file it away where it needs to go, and get back to other work.
I wonder if other long-term planners work this way. 


dbonfitto said...

As long as Kevin J. Anderson is still alive to go through your notes with Nick, you're fine.

Marshall Ryan Maresca said...

See, that's what I want. The full VC Andrews where dozens of books are written posthumously in my name based on "notes".

dbonfitto said...

The farther off a scene is, the more likely it is to turn into soft-core porn when you finally write it. (e.g. Frank Herbert, Fritz Leiber)

You are in a race against time with your inner slashfic perv.