Re: Plotting Ahead of Time
It really depends on the story for me. Sometimes I have nearly the whole plot planned out, other times just a beginning, end, and some parts in the middle, and still other times when I just have a vague idea of a plot.
The Path of Destiny started out the third way. Actually, it started out as something random I wrote when I was bored one afternoon. When I started it, I only had a very vague idea of a plot and just made up something quick (Articuno vanishing from the mountains in which he had previously resided) to get the main character to have to go on an adventure. Chapter two was basically to introduce two new characters, give them a really vague backstory, so I had a trio of pokemon on this big adventure thing I could make up as I went along.
I think the first danger they came across was the ghosts at the rocks, and I wanted that to be all mysterious and have them act like they were guarding something. That led to Blazefang discovering the stone hidden there which I decided would have some meaning to the plot that I barely knew anything about at the time, I just wasn't sure what that meaning would be.
A few chapters later, and I actually starting piecing everything together into a more or less coherent plot, and made up the Forbidden Attacks which would end up being what the overall plot of the story was about. As I went on, I kept adding more and more to this plot in my mind long before I ever reached those places in the story, and ended up having a good idea of where the story was headed, always planning a few chapters ahead.
As for where it is now, I have an idea for the ending (but I'm still open to the fact that I may change my plans a bit as I go along) and several ideas for the middle, but I also leave a lot of the middle open, since I'm constantly getting new ideas for my story, which of course makes me end up actually wanting to write a few of them. I've planned ahead with the next few chapters of the story and I know where it is going, I just always have to remember that odds are I'll get some really cool idea and just HAVE to include it, so I've gotten used to things changing and random ideas springing up from nowhere.
Mind Whisperer is being written pretty much the same as The Path of Destiny, only I had a better idea of where I was going with that one when I started it, and it wasn't just I'm-bored-and-want-to-write-a-story-now-okay.
I have a non-pokemon fan fic that I'm writing, and for that one, I pretty much had almost the whole plot thought out before I started writing it, mostly because I'd spent a few months thinking about it at random times before I actually started writing. I still left a lot of the middle open for whatever random misadventures I come up with whenever I actually get to that part in the story.
My non-fan fic stories are usually either like how The Path of Destiny started, or have a beginning, end, and random middle parts before I start writing.
Thanks to Lunar Latias for the banner and Kirimori for the picture!