I discovered a very simple but important lesson today. The other week I started to write my first novel. Ok, not as casual as that may sound. I've had an idea knocking around in my head for a good while and knew roughly where I wanted it to start, what the end point was and who the main characters would be. I've also spent the past year practicing my writing with short stories and flash pieces whilst reading a variety of writing advice on numerous blogs.
Armed with my overarching plot I started to write and figured I would fill in the blanks as I knew my A to B on the journey and this was the tactic I take with short story writing. So with the first chapter finished I suddenly found I could start chapter 2 but was really ambiguous on where I should head from there to eventually get me to B.
So I took time out today to start writing the plot out and do a chapter by chapter plan with story arc points (introduce quest/reason, introduce threat, introduce hope, remove hope, etc). I'm not finished doing this yet but it has suddenly given me some real structure for the piece and it all feels less daunting!
So my simple lesson to myself. Take the time out to plot the story otherwise you have a lot of flesh with no bones to structure it around.