I've said before that I'm a seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. I get an idea, the start of a story, a premise, and then just run with it. I know roughly what the end is going to be, sort of... maybe, but the in between bits tend to get worked out almost as they are written.
I started my current WIP in exactly the same way, like a truck driver heading to Timbuktu when he has no idea what continent it's even on. Then I got stuck, which is not unusual, and normally I go and do something else for a while, until the elusive muse strikes again. But this time two months had gone by, and I still had no clue as to what was going to happen next in the story.
So I joined Scribophile and stuck the first couple of chapters on there to see what other people thought. This rekindled my interest in the manuscript, and I read it through, all 37,000 words, playing with the odd scene and correcting any typos. I got to the end of it and thought. And planned. And worked things out. And had the odd idea or two about how to get my MC from A to Z, with a few of the other letters of the alphabet thrown in to help the story along.
In other words, I had a plot, a story line. I knew what I was going to write for each scene, and how the whole thing was going to unfold (you can see where this going, right?).
I sat down to write this morning, my first proper work on this manuscript since July, not just playing with what was already there, only to find my MC has played a blinder. Ruby has decided that she was not too keen on my carefully thought-out planning, and has done her best to scupper it.
And the darned woman has succeeded. I'm going to have to have some sharp words with her, the next time I'm wide awake at 3am and trying to get inside my characters' heads. It's about time they realised that I write the story, not them!