You pick up a pen and a notebook. Before you know it, you’ve written the first fifteen pages of a novel and you want to make sure that your multiple plot arcs stay in check. So you do a loose chapter planning of what’s going to happen for the rest of the book. But when you get to the next chapter and are halfway through writing it, the entire thing changes. So you go with the new changes and plan on from there before you get back to the writing. By the next chapter, you have repeated the process all over again. For those that do this chapter planning process: do you ever get tired of it? Have you ever thought of just going with the flow and then fixing the little mistakes here and there when it’s completed?
I personally don’t like to plan out anything of what I’m going to write because it always turns out completely different in the end. But when I get towards the end of my novels, I want to make sure that all of the loose ends are tied up. Especially if it’s a stand-alone novel or at the end of a series. That’s where the chapter planning comes in handy and it isn’t as frustrating to change the last four or five chapters several times each as it is with an entire 50k+ worded novel.
So here’s the question for today. How do you keep track of the progress and changes of your novel?