Some people plan out every detail of their novels in advance. Not a word is written into the actual first draft of the manuscript until every grain of sand is worldbuilt.
I, on the other hand, planned out a children’s picture book and ended up with a new adult faerie fantasy story with romantic undertones. How did that happen? Characters, man. Give them an inch, and they’ll take 60,000 words.
I’m fine with this arrangement, honestly. I create the characters, and they tell me who they want to be. Where they want to go, who they want to fall in love with, what story they want to tell… it’s really up to them. Lavender’s story, Faerie Blood & Cold Iron Hounds, tells the tale of Fae, her creatures, and her Queens. Even if I wanted to keep the story a 24 page picture book entitled Lavender and Indigo, she wouldn’t have let me. Lavender would never have been content to stay a child; she wanted to grow up, fall in love, and make her mark on the world. Quite frankly, I think this is a better story than could be told in a couple dozen paragraphs. Just like Lavender, it grew and matured as it was written.
So how can you use this writing method? Honestly, it’s very intuitive. Write to your plan at first, if you have one. Then, when the urge strikes you to diverge from that plan… do it. Does your hero suddenly look awfully tempted to turn on his friends? Let him. Is there a love triangle bubbling up in the corner of your mind? Write it in.
You might think that certain plot twists will make sense. Maybe they won’t at first, but that’s what editing is for. You can drop in foreshadowing in later drafts, reworking earlier chapters to hint at what you never saw coming. Just remember that writing a novel is a creative process, and creative processes don’t always make sense at the time.
As a note, this method can be very helpful for conquering writers block mid-story. If you, the author, don’t know what happens next, your characters might. You can approach this in many ways, from the simple (“I wonder what Lavender wants to do right now?”) to the carefully orchestrated. You can stage a mock interview with your character, or write an outtake of your characters talking to each other, yourself, or even other pop culture characters (if you’re into fan fic).
Whatever methods you choose to use for your own writing– including the method of “disregard everything that Rosalind says”– I hope that you find success. And remember, this is your story to tell however you like.