- P: Are you what George R. R. Martin would call an “architect” or a “gardener”? (How much do you plan in advance, versus letting the story unfold as you go?)
Definitely an ‘architect’, though I imagine all writers have elements of both. For anything plot driven – see Too Wise to Woo or You Were Always On My Mind – I have to have the story structure worked out well in advance of actually writing anything. I can’t really imagine sitting down to write something like that without knowing.
It sort of helps you be more flexible, I think, odd though that may sound. For instance, in You Were Always On My Mind, I hadn’t planned for Dan to sleep with Brie at all – but I was able to follow the brainwave because I was able to see immediately how well it fit into the story structure I had in mind. (And then Brie became a crucial…wedge between them when shit got real).
The only one I don’t take that approach to is Behind the Scenes, because it’s much less plot-y – it ties into the show far more directly than the other stories, so I don’t have to worry so much about keeping things coherent. As a result, for that one, I tend to sit down and write whatever short scene catches my fancy (hence the tendency of the fic to jump around in time, a lot).