Plotting and planning - is it worth it?

You make your plans then life happens.

You devise your plot then the story happens.

But art is not life. Art has a nice clean shape. Life doesn't.

I'm supposed to be in charge of the art part, the story. I'm writing it so I ought to be able to control both the events and the characters. But I can't. It feels as though there is an inevitable road that I can neither see in advance nor avoid.

Both life and art have unexpected twists and it's in the unexpected testing of people that you learn about them (and that we learn about ourselves). It's where heroes and villains (and everything in between) are revealed so I have to watch and learn. Don't understand how it happens but I'll keep on writing and I'll keep on thinking about it. Is it the same for you? People write in different ways.

For my first novels, I did some planning and then watched as the characters went their own way and the stories unrolled, sidelining the plans.

For the current novel - Don't you remember me? - I thought I'd try to devise a plot in advance. I thought it was about time now that I'm learning about how to structure a novel rather than writing it first and then hoping that it's got a good structure by the time that I've finished it.

But I'm failing! From this point in the story of Don't you remember me? I can't see the end so I'm giving up.

I'm going to set the characters free and follow behind. So far, Hannah, the main protagonist, is as baffled as I am by what's going on but I'm sure it will all become clear. Gradually. I'll keep you posted.

Hope your stories are unfurling as they should (however it is that you plot and plan) and bringing you comfort along the way.