Writers talk about being plotters (who plan every detail before writing) or pantsers (who start writing "by the seat of their pants"). Obviously there is middle ground between the two extremes. I used to be adamant that I was a plotter because I have to really know my story before beginning writing (or risk quickly burning out) and I don't change a story much once I've started writing. But then I read plotter posts about three act structures and Save the Cat, and I realized my creative process doesn't work like that, either.
I make very few decisions when it comes to The Timeline. It's almost as if I learn about the universe slowly through each little burst of inspiration and each lightning strike epiphany. And the only choices I make are about how to tell the stories that are given to me, whether by my subconscious or a connection to the unknown. Or maybe some combination.
Part of my writing and storytelling is very personal to me, especially (of course) with the Magic Inc. series. My experiences shape that series. Almost every detail is based on my own history or a little imagining I had in childhood. My writing has also grown with me. With my experiences as an adult. With the things I've learned from other creatives and the stories I love now. But I feel like my stories are told to me, by this natural flow of... something. Writing is sacred to me. It comes from something greater than just me, but also from me. An ocean in a drop.
And it's true, as I stated in the beginning, I don't know everything about my universe. But I know A LOT. The details have been filling up my head heavily since 2007. But 2003, if you count Dreaming in Shadow. Or 1998, if you count the former secret world of Magic Inc. and my crossover Harry Potter fanfiction. In some ways, I feel like I've been building this world and my storytelling since I was born. Maybe even as I dreamed of life before I was born. If you believe in that kind of thing. (I do.)
So, I claim my own history and my own unique, imperfect way of storytelling. But the rest of it? I don't really know. And I'm kind of okay with not knowing. I have an entire ocean to explore.