I’ve always sweated over the writing advice from various sources. Some recommend that I should plot out my story. Others say that kills spontaneity. Start with a character, and throw him into a situation… your story will emerge. Some say just start writing, it will come to you. Others disagree. How long and hard do you want to revise, they ask testily, you’re better off with a plot.
After writing like a crazy-bum over the past month, I have realized it is different for different writers, because we are all different people.
Some of us are control freaks, so naturally we feel insecure without a plan. A lot of us are happy-go-lucky customers, so they just like getting into the swing of things. And then you have the moderate ones, like me, who have a skeleton plan. They then flesh it out as they go, adding and subtracting details, changing little of the bone structure, but giving full rein to their imagination while fleshing out the skeleton.
It was a relief to discover for myself that there is no one formula for writing. What works for me may not work for you and vice-versa. In the beginning, we just have to keep writing, making sure we write every day, till we hit upon what works for us as individual writers.
We can learn techniques from books, we can learn how to write great characters or dialog, or plot brilliantly, but it is only with practice that we can figure out just what equation and process works out for us as writing individuals.