Planning vs. Winging It · 4:27am
When I first started writing fanfics about a year ago, I used to sit down at my computer with an idea and just write. I didn't have a storyline, motive, or anything like that; I just started putting words on paper. My first fic was rejected by EqD (which, mind you, was still accepting a large number of low-quality stories at the time), and that shook me. Midnight Shadow ran a contest shortly after this, one asking for fanfics about "Luna Being Happy." I decided to enter, and because there were certain elements required to be in the story, I planned out everything in a bulleted list. I did this on a half sheet of lined paper, and the story followed the plan pretty securely. The fic, Colts and Mares (which I may publish at some point in the future for laughs), was middle of the road, at best, but it was passable.
I planned my next story, Head In The Clouds, a week later in the same manner. It was accepted by EqD, and I felt great about it. It seemed to me that planning out my writing was definitely the way to go. I followed this formula for Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires, and my entry into the June /fic/ writeoff. I have also written up bulleted outlines for a number of other stories that I have yet to write, including further chapters of Mares in Manehattan, which is currently only on EqD. I was always pleased with how these stories turned out, but the reception I generally received was lukewarm.
Recently, I published See Me After Class, which has by far been my most popular fic. The story was the product of four days of on-and-off work, and zero planning. Yes, I understand that clopfics generally get reviewed easier than regular stories, but I felt this one was met with a rather warm reception. If I could write a story that so far outshines my other works even without an outline, why should I continue to plan? I'm genuinely wondering how I should go about writing my next story, which will be another clopfic. I'm not sure which way to go, but I can only hope that my beginner's luck in the clop genre doesn't run out.