Balancing Stream of Consciousness and Planning in Storytelling

Hey there fellow storyteller!

Here a bit about my storytelling process, how I plan my stories and let my creative rhythm flow.

As someone who loves to write stories, I tend to approach the process in a very intuitive way. I’ll get a feeling or a theme that I want to explore, and then I’ll dive in and start writing in a stream of consciousness. While this approach can be freeing and help me tap into my creativity, it can also lead to messy, unstructured stories that feel incomplete or lacking towards the end. That’s where planning comes in.

That’s why I’ve learned the importance of balancing my stream-of-consciousness approach with clear planning. While I don’t want to lose the spontaneity and excitement of writing by planning every detail, I’ve found that having a clear idea of where my story is going can help me stay focused and make sure that my ending is satisfying and complete.

One way I balance my stream-of-consciousness approach with planning is by creating a loose outline before I start writing. I jot down a few key plot points or events that I want to include, and then I let the story unfold naturally from there. This gives me a sense of direction without feeling too rigid.

The key here is to pave a path for myself and slowly add in the ‘Surroundings’ as I explore the path. What do my surroundings look like? Who do I meet on the path? What obstacles do I face? This slowly unfolds into an interesting story without getting lost or feeling overwhelmed. 

Another thing I do is create character sheets in my head and make some notes of them. Even if it’s just a few details, like appearance, personality, and backstory. I want my characters to have motives, values, and beliefs that support their decisions, which creates validity in the story’s twists and exciting points.

But sometimes, I get so caught up in writing that I forget to step back and assess where my story is heading. That’s why I take breaks and reflect on what I’ve written so far. This helps me make sure that my story is staying true to the theme or feeling that inspired it, while also making sure that the plot is building towards a satisfying conclusion. It’s easy to get lost in the story-writing process, and sometimes a tea and a chat can do wonders for my perspective and give me a clear mind and inspiration when I return.

On the other hand, I also believe in letting my mind wander and writing as much as possible before editing it. Even if things don’t make sense at the time of writing them, it’s important to let your creativity flow. I write as much as I can down and then take a break and look back at it. I can digest my work easier that way as well as get lots of ideas and Siv through the best of them or combine them.

Storytelling is all about balance. I think balancing the creative freedom of a stream-of-consciousness approach with the structure and direction of planning can help you craft stories that are both compelling and complete. 

So, what kind of storyteller are you? Are you a planner? Or do you just let your words flow? 

Not sure? Maybe this has helped you find your way. Let us know in the comments or contact me on social media!

2 responses to “Balancing Stream of Consciousness and Planning in Storytelling”

  1. More and more, I’m learning that my true writing happens during the rewriting. As in, everything I put in the first draft merely serves as decor. The actual writing comes from reading what I wrote and wanting to produce something better. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree more! It’s rare that my first draft is perfect. I always end up changing it somewhat. Really appreciate the read!


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