The thing about writing is that you don’t always have to know where the story is going when you start writing. As a writer of fiction I usually find my stories going places I never imagined.
When I started writing Brave Young Boys it was based on a short story I had written a couple years prior. It was going to be a simple story about a family who had lost their son and how they were trying to cope with it. A year later, I’m working on the second draft which includes several new characters who somehow wormed their way in, am considering the possibility of removing one of the original characters, and I found things in my book that connect to other things I didn’t even know were there. It has literally turned into a story I could never have imagined, and I actually like it so much more now.
I often find this happens with my fanfiction stories too. I started one with the intention that it would only be four chapters long. Instead, by the time I had finished, it was thirty-three chapters. Another one I’m working on, I started off with this idea for what I wanted to do and it has grown so much that I’m now working on the sixty-fifth chapter and it is nowhere near done. This is so insane to me because these are things I never could have planned. I didn’t have a vision as to where the story was going, but I never would have thought it would turn out like this.
The same can even be said for blog posts sometimes. No matter how much I plan a post or think about what I’m going to write, it’s inevitably going to change. And I actually think it’s better that way.
If you planned out a story and it went exactly how you wanted, I feel like that would be pretty boring. Not the story itself, but the experience of writing it for you, the writer. By sticking only to a plan I think it limits what you’re able to do with it. By not having a clear vision you can take the story on whatever journey you want, or whatever journey your characters want.
What do you think? Do you often have a clear vision when you start writing?