Too Much Planning

I’ve been suffering from writer’s block on my latest project. For a whole month I couldn’t make any progress on it.

Turns out the problem was that I was trying something new for me: to not write a single word of the actual story until I’ve got the whole thing outlined so that all the beat work and all the character arcs make sense.

It was a miserable failure. Staring at the blank screen, I couldn’t think at all. I didn’t know the characters or the plot. I couldn’t see what they wanted or how they would go about getting it. I missed one self-imposed deadline after another.

For me, ideas have to come once I start writing. I have to get to know the characters and the story as I write them, not plot them out ahead of time.

As soon as I decided that I was okay with going off without a clear plan all in my head, ideas started to come. I guess I’m just not an outliner. I prefer writing a story without knowing exactly what the story is.