I am in the process of writing my first novel. I have written nine chapters so far. My first five chapters came to me without much planning. For my next five chapters, I have been working to a plan for each chapter. Before writing the novel, I had a very specific theme in mind. But I'm now nine chapters in, and the theme is not developing in the way I expected it to. So my question to you is this: Should I let my characters tell their own story (and hope that they reach a satisfactory ending without being told what to do by me the author!)? OR Should I be going back to my original theme, and slowly start trying to work it into some of the chapters that I've already written, and develop a more structured approach for the rest of the novel?