Kai is a new character in the series. In my first draft of book two she has a supporting role. However, I like strong female characters. A woman can be strong and feminine. I will be revising book two to give her a bigger role.
Recently I spoke with a writer/friend and told him that The Lost Gateway (book one) was written in a panic for NANOWRIMO. He assumed that meant I had done it all without any kind of structure. He went on about pantsing (writing by the seat of your pants) vs. plotting.
But few things are that simple, or absolute. My approach to writing is a hybrid of the two. I’ll have the main story and character arcs in my mind, and I’ll plot out about four or five scenes ahead of where I am writing. That way I know where I am going, at least in the short term. And then I rewrite. A lot. But I don’t plot it all out and then try to cram things into a predefined plot. That never seems to work for me, and I waste a lot of time on plot elements that never happen.
Some writers will say that their characters get away from them. I don’t think that’s the case for me. It’s a challenge with fantasy because some unintended consequences of the story/world/magic system may not be obvious until your characters start reacting to their world. I have learned to not waste time in plotting things out too carefully, but a story without some kind of structure can become a mess.
Every writer is different. Here are some other views on plotting vs. pantsing.
- How Plotting Is Like Pantsing…In Fast Forward (kaitnolan.com)
- Write It Now Part 19: the secret behind seat of the pants writing (mjwrightnz.wordpress.com)
- Writing from a Point of Knowledge or Discovery | Some Insights (creativeinsideout.com)
- Disintegrating Characters (rolandclarke.com)
- Pantsing vs Plotting by Leia Shaw (nightsofpassion.wordpress.com)
- Take Your Writing Through a Vision Quest (mcgeejp.com)