For my next project, I’m definitely going to take a crack at outlining my story beforehand.
Yes, there are benefits to ‘discovery writing’. All of sorts of new and exciting things come to you when writing by the seat of your pants.
The biggest drawback is the wandering. I feel like the Israelites in the desert after they left Egypt. Lost, lost, lost. Nowhere to go and no way to get there. The rewrite is going to be fun, and productive, but I’m sure I’ve created more work for myself by not having a plan and sticking to it. I am somewhere around 135,000 words (not everything is transcribed yet) and I still don’t have an inkling of what my ending is going to be.
I don’t see myself pulling off another ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ and having it be at all readable. Five hundred plus pages of rambling does not a good story make.
The vision I have, or have had, for this project is more along the lines of the Sharpe or Hornblower books – related stories featuring common characters, but each capable of standing alone.
As always, we’ll see how things turn out, but today I am regretting my Failure to Plan. It isn’t quite at the level of Planning to Fail, but it isn’t making anything easier.