The problem with writing a novel…

I’m the kind of writer who will write a book like it’s a walk in the fog. I only see a few yards ahead. Perhaps I know (because I saw it in a glimpse) that there is a particularly beautiful tree or mountain peak up ahead, but I don’t know how many twists and turns the road will take before it gets me there. I just trust the path that I’m on.

I’m an established author with four young adult novels that got published with respectable publishing houses and did reasonably well on the market. All of them were written without a clue about where the story would go or where it would end. I just trusted in the characters, and in my feeling of ‘this wants to be told’. Plot elements would show themselves to me as I was moving forward — much like landscape details in the fog.

There’s no need to worry about whether it all adds up, just write. Of course in the end the story and the narrative need to be solid, but that’s what second or third drafts are for. You can always rewrite. (Except, perhaps, if you want to do a super smart detective story with a very complex plot development, in which case you really do need to know where you are going when you start writing.)

No editor ever asked me whether I had the outline for my books when I started— and I definitely hadn’t.

This might very well not be a way of working that will suit everyone. But it sure doesn’t harm to give it a try. It’s only words on a page or screen. And who knows what magic comes flowing from your fingers if you just allow the words to come?