Awesome Possum wrote:
Having a completely pre-planned arc can backfire if the audience is able to figure it out before it is finished, robbing it of any drama or if they just don't like it. Most shows seem to go with a combination of both. Some elements are pre-planned and others are thrown in as it develops.
That's about right. Plus, there's a difference between knowing the story ahead of time, as in knowing where you'd like character arcs to end and what the answers to questions are, and knowing the plot ahead of time, meaning you know exactly how the characters go from A to B to C for six seasons before your show even begins. That doesn't work on TV or, really, in any medium. BSG would've worked a little better if Ron know the story more before he started throwing stuff out there but he didn't need to know the plot.