When you start writing, do you have an outline prepared from which you never stray? Or do your characters have a way of sneaking up on you and force you to rethink the direction you planned to take? Do you fight with them or do accept what they want to do, even if you don’t understand it at first?
Recently, I was tweeting with @MarinaCohen, the author of the novel Ghost Ride about this exact subject. She tweeted, “I have a love/hate relationship with new characters who muscle their way into my manuscript uninvited.” I loved the line, so started a conversation with her asking whether “the plot stayed derailed or does it get back on course?” to which she replied, “The plot takes a new and better direction. Once I stop raging against it and give in to the change!”
My short conversation with Marina has brought up a few questions that I hope all YA writers would like to respond to, do you write from your subconscious brain? Do you accept the changes and plot developments that your characters want to explore, even if you’re unsure about them at first? Or, by contrast, are your YA novels planned completely before you ever begin and never change? Would love to hear your comments on what the writing process is like for you!