Hey kismet, welcome back after so long! I hope you are enjoying being back as much as I have so far.
How was it after returning after so long?
I was very, very happy to be back. Hpff has such a wonderful community, and it was lovely to just start writing again and receiving feedback from your hard work. Not to mention reading other works and talking to other authors. I didn't realise how much I relied on support from hpff until I came back, and I can actually see how much my writing improves from it. Not to mention, I love interacting with the people on here, and giving them my own support towards their works. It is just a very nice feeling to be back in this community.
How do you keep track of your plot ideas?
Ohh, now my secret comes out I am, honestly, not a very good 'author'. I don't really keep track of my plot ideas, and in some of my older works, like Not Once, Not Ever and Leather and Lace it shows through with my sporadic, 'free' writing. I actually had to abandon Leather and Lace recently because when I started writing it, I didn't write the plot down, relying on my memory solely. So, of course, after my 2/3 year hiatus, I have totally forgotten what I was writing and trying to achieve with that story. It's sad, and I should learn from my mistakes, but I haven't. Whenever I try to write my plots or a chapter synopsis, I get so wrapped up in following what I have written in these outlines, I can't actually write the chapters. So far, for my current story, I have written the basic, main plot, and it's left all side plots open, leaving me some of that free writing so I don't become obsessed. So far, all is going well, so let's hope it stays that way I have a pretty good memory for my own stories, and nothing really changes from my first thoughts, keeping it relatively easy to keep track on my ideas.
When you sit down to write a new fic, how much of it is pre-planned?
It really depends on the story. One-shots, like the futurist. and A Liar are pre-planned around the character themselves. I will think of a significant event that has shaped their personalities and just write the event in one sitting. Sometimes, when I get ideas, it will stay in my head for a day to a week, but I never write anything down about the plot until it is perfect in my mind. This is mainly because I don't want to worry so much about my idea (like I said before, I can't write a story if too much is pre-planned).
Bigger stories, like Kamikaze, remain in my head. I'll have my basic plot, usually a paragraph talking about the characters, their purpose in the novel, and what is going to happen in the beginning and then the end. However, all that happens in between is based on how I think the characters will react in the situation. For example, for a chapter, I could write one sentence to base the chapter around - Draco leaves the hospital and goes home; Daphne has made a device to help with communication between the group. All that happens in between is completely unplanned. I had Astoria appear in this chapter, out of whim, and I just let the characters react themselves. If Draco says this, what will Astoria say? If he kisses her, what does she do? I'm very much a character writer instead of a plot writer, however the beginning and end of my story will always stay the same.
Thank you for taking the time to ask those questions! They were a lot of fun to think on and answer! Again, I hope you enjoy your time back writing fanfiction, and being a part of the community once more