Writing by the seat of my pants was faster on the front end but it was a logistical nightmare that required extra work on the back end. A story that took only three months to write often took another year to edit. And, as I later learned after years of submitting, fixing a problem isn't nearly as effective as preventing it.
Plotting a story allows me to see plot holes and logic issues before they become too big of a problem. If I create a story outline and jot down notes, I can fix plot problems before I'm half-way into the story.
Now, I can not only plot out a story, I can keep track of physical descriptions and details of my characters so my heroine's blue eyes don't magically turn green. I can also keep track of turning points in the story and outline the details from beginning to black moment to happily ever after. It's even easier to give my characters goals, motivation, and conflict this way.
My hero/heroine wants or needs something because of this but can't get it because of that.
Sounds easy. Right? But not when my characters don't play along. And therein lies my problem with plotting.
As the story progresses, my characters take on lives of their own. Their goals or motivation change and I start stressing over the new direction of my story. Do I force them to follow
If I go back to
Following an outline is easier than writing by the seat of my pants but I've learned I have to be flexible or the story feels forced. And sometimes as I'm writing, the story changes course but I don't stress over it. I've learned writing is a lot like life.
Sometimes, things just don't go according to plan.
I guess I'm just going to let them have their way and see where they take me.