Thoughts on Plans

In Marissa Meyer's Winter, the cyborg heroine Cinder and her allies make  a a daring plan to sneak onto the moon and overthrow the evil Queen Levana.  Unsurprisingly, their plan goes awry very early on.

This got me thinking about plans.  When characters make them,  how should you reveal to your readers, and how well should things turn out?  So you have several possibilities.

1.  The reader knows what the characters are planning, but the plan goes wrong and things go in an unexpected direction.

This happens quite often, and provides a good amount of tension.

2.  The characters make a plan, but the reader doesn't know it.  Then, the reader finds out the plan as they watch its successful implementation.

This is a fun option as well, and usually involves some kind of clever plan.

3.  The characters make a plan.  The reader knows what it is, and everything goes off without a hitch.

Is this approach ever a good idea?  Does this just take away any element of surprise?  What do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. Option three is one that I've used. But you don't spend a lot of words on the actual action part.