Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Calling All Writers: Planning The Story

Working on updating the image!

Today's topic is Planning the Story!
(This is how I do this, but you can mold this into a separate method.)

Whenever you come up with an idea for a story, usually you know something. Whether it be an ending, a scene, a topic, or a character, you have something to work with. This is key. It is practically impossible to come up with a story out of thin air, simply because in order to finish something you must have inspiration. The more inspiration the better.
   Usually my stories start out as a dream, a concept, or a scene. Once it was an incredibly vivid dream about four sisters who lived in this beach town. I knew huge details including the town they lived in. It was crazy, but I couldn't figure out how the pieces fit together, so I never wrote it.
   When you dream up a concept the first step is simple: Write it down. Write down whatever you have, whether it be a plot line or a scene, or even a line of dialogue, any of it could be important to the story line. Next, find a binder, preferably 1-1 and a half inch for ease of paper. Buy some dividers, copy paper, lined paper, sharpies, tabs, and sticky notes. Then unwrap it all and sit down to work.
   Label the first divider plot line and fill it with plenty of either copy paper or lined paper. I prefer copy paper, simply because I feel like I can write huge. Separate your plot into increments of 5 chapters and slowly plan out what will happen - it can be greatly in depth or simply a basic idea of the goal of the scene. Make two checkboxes at the top, one labeled Written, the other Edited.
   The second divider is Character Outlines, which will be out next topic on Calling All Writers!, so for now just do the plot line. Third divider is notes, where you make notes of inspiration that you don't know where they will fit, maps, or random ideas. The fourth is Scene Drafts, which are key. Whenever you have spent too much time with your story going in order, skip ahead and draft out a key scene to the story. This will give you some more ideas on the characters, the goal of the plot, and the feel of the relationships before you enter them head over heels. The fifth divider is Paper, where I store lined paper for note taking. The last one is titles Drafts, which is currently empty in my binder. It will be filled eventually!
   Use the sticky pad for drafting, the tabs for notes in your binder or drafting. Enjoy the organization while it lasts!

Good luck writers!

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