A Thought From Diana Wynne Jones – To Plan Or Not To Plan (Your Novel)

“Another common question which naturally follows on from here is Do you plan your book out before you start it? and my answer is always unequivocally, No that kills it dead. This always shocks teachers, who are accustomed to have told their pupils that you can’t write that way. But I am afraid I do, because I have to, for the sake of the book itself… [Its] flavour, quality, is something I have painfully discovered you have to be utterly true to. Any attempt to coax it to be different, as planning in detail might, is a sort of taxidermy when what you need is the living animal.”

– Diana Wynne Jones, Answers to Some Questions

 Diana Wynne Jones, you hit the nail right on the head. Remember that little story I was having trouble with on Saturday? Well, I finally figured out what it was all about – and the clues to the ending were already embedded in the story all along. How does my subconscious do this? It’s like the subconscious has a plan it won’t tell my consciousness, until the very last minute.

Actually, that sounds a bit too Freudian.

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Filed under On Writing, Quotables

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