My friend is writing a book, but he plans far ahead. I just think of a thing and write it, and if it doesn't make sense, I tweak it to fit.

Is it mandatory to plan in advance what will go on in the story, or is it okay to just free write and edit later?

  • 3
    Check out other questions that have talked about plotters vs pantsers. Here's one.. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


As you have already detected, there are many ways to write a book and every author brings something new to the process. If careening into an unknown future is a comfortable writing style for you, then best of luck in your endeavors.

"Just cause I don't know where I am going, doesn't mean that I am lost."

On the other hand, if you get weary of randomly rambling around in your fictional world, there are many, many other approaches which have worked for successful authors in the past. Be open to new experiences, including the to-you-heretical experience of planning ahead.

  • I'm definitely a pansier, although at times it feels like I'm a plotter... once I read what I wrote. The actual, complex plot sits somewhere deep under, waiting to be poured out, and I don't know it consciously until I write it. Events come full circle, guns hanged in the first act fire in the last one... It only happened maybe two times that I completely lost my way and found "I have nowhere to go from here". But if I start off with a faith that the surprising twist ending will reveal itself, it usually does. And writing feels much like reading a fascinating story.
    – SF.
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 11:04

You're not required to write your story in any particular way. Just write it. (You might be interested in this essay by Anne Lamott called "Shitty First Drafts" (PDF))

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.