I’ve heard this among writers before, but I didn’t think it would happen to me. I’m a Pantser who is gradually becoming more of a Plotter. I think the seeds began with a failed NaNo manuscript. I finished out the 50k, sure, but I realized that the plot really hadn’t gone anywhere, and in fact the concept was more or less doomed.
It moved on to a prohibition-era story I started and got stalled in. I eventually tossed that one in the drawer. It continued on to my science fiction book, where I got very far along, but couldn’t completely figure out how to end it. It got tossed in a drawer. Even the ending to the second Storm Rider book got a touch of it towards the end.
I could lay all of this at the feet of stress and writer’s block, but I think it was because I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a brainstorm to fall back on to take me forward. I’ve always kept a little Moleskine with notes in it, the bare outline of a story that takes me along, but I’m beginning to think I need to do a little bit more. Make sure that I have at least a few chapters worked out ahead of time, and maybe I don’t need the specifics of the ending, but I need to have a rough idea of how it will all turn out.