Planning VS. Just Writing

As I’ve written before I am an architectural writer. When I write I normally have a strong plan mapped out in my head. On my second draft I’ve decided to loosen up a bit and more or less just write without much structure. In my script I’ve blocked out roughly where act breaks should occur but I’m not too worried about that. This has definitely created a different attitude in my mind in terms of letting characters talk for longer and feeling scenes out more. I’ve written entirely new scenes only because my characters sorta just started talking about things, like bank robbers, then I just thought “fuck it” why don’t I make them go after the bank robbers. Then as I started trying to force two characters on a path together, White and Abe, there was just too much room for things to go wrong before they even leave the building. So I let them go wrong “Your wife know how many whores you fuck?” Abe says to him.  I love how this plays out although I’m not sure that Tully rocking up then and there outta the blue makes sense or seems overly convenient but for the moment I’ll allow it.

I think I’m learning a lot about myself and what scenes work best as I’m writing. The moments where I laugh the most and enjoy it the most are the moments of conflict. I just enjoy writing two people getting angry at each other. I’m trying to balance this with sad, maudlin scenes just to even things out a bit (hopefully not causing a tonal inconsistency). Funnily enough, I also think this is helping building world. As I’m letting these characters talk and go places I’m not planning for, Bandit Lodges and the households of those newly widowed, new characters not present in my first attempt are occurring and building a tapestry of things going on. This is creating a lived in place, a place that isn’t functioning solely as a vehicle for story, but rather one with characters that have agency and history. I think this history is coming across too in dialogue, people are referencing eating dinner with one another, things that we will not see on screen but have happened and are happening outside of our core narrative.

I don’t think you can plan totally for this type of stuff. I think if you spent years writing backstory and the B plots you just would build some clean and neat – which life isn’t. Hopefully the prescence of off screen lives works to the effect which I hope it does.

Ultimately I can only judge it at this stage so much but both myself and my script are reaping the rewards of a looser plan.

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