Plans are everywhere in writing.
Character's often find that they have an enemy, obstacle, or even a friend they have to outsmart. Of course, this means that we as writers have to come up with a plan for them to use to do the outsmarting.
The way we reveal these plans is almost as important to the pacing as the plans themselves.
#1 The Ordinary Debrief.
When characters gather to share intel and then have a brainstorming session about what they are going to do, we get the character debrief.
With this method we need to be careful. Taking our characters out of the action to have them sit around and talk about the action could seriously mess with the flow of our narratives.
There is a positive to it though and that is foreshadowing. If we plan on having a plan fail, or have someone slip the information about the plan to the enemy, we can use this time to set it up.
#2 The Flashback debrief.
This is like the debrief, but the protagonist remembers the details of the debrief through a flashback. This usually happens while the protagonist is waiting for the signal for the plan to begin or already knee deep in the plan.
How to split up the flashbacks will be determined by the plan itself, the character remembering the details, and how much action needs to happen in the scene.
The drawback is that we risk any setup or foreshadowing we do in the planning phase being more obvious.
#3 On The Fly Planning
In this case, the details of our protagonists plan get worked out spur of the moment style.
The character is knee deep in the action and they have to figure a way out of it on the spot.
This is probably the most dynamic of the options to choose from, but it has the drawback of not allowing for any set up or foreshadowing.
Whatever goes wrong with the plan is going to happen just as quickly as the other action.
Deciding which method to use is a matter of personal preference. But knowing the pros and cons of each will help us to minimize the set backs and get the most out of our well laid plans.
Thanks for joining me again this week.
Do you have any thoughts on this topic? I'd love to hear them in the comments.