A few weeks ago, the very talented Prince (I’m referring to the singer, actor, artist, etc) passed away. It could be the fact that I’m in the midst of study for my day job, but what I seem to notice and hear about most since his death is his lack of a will. This is because he was touted as being such an organized person that many wouldn’t have expected this lack of preparation for the unexpected.
Still, as I study estates and wills and planning, I can’t help but reflect on all the preparation that goes into every aspect of our lives. As a writer, I definitely identified with being a panster early on (think in the moment, not a planner). I’ve said that in every other aspect of my life, I seem to be an absolute planner. But truth be told is that when I get the chance to go back to writing more frequently, I probably will change my stance and do a bit more planning before I start writing. I still think both work depending on the individual author, but as I look back at my published (and unpublished) works, I can’t help but pick them apart and dig into all the areas I would add more depth. A lot of this depth comes from simply knowing more about your characters and plot, but as a writer writing day in and day out, it is easy to get too close. So close that you can’t really pull the unique characters apart of see the holes in your plots (this is where having a critique partner or readers also helps). Tactful planning allows you to be strategic with how you lay out your characters’ history and the world they live in.
Lesson I’ve learned? Preparation definitely has its benefits and I will most certainly try more planning going forward. Good luck and happy writing this week.