My WritingJourney: Planning

Hi, guys! How’s it going? Today, is finally, (drum roll please, how dare you not drum roll?) I’m started my very first writing series, and this is my first post on TWW! *Dies* I’m not much of a writing expert, nor do write as consistently as I should, but that does not mean that I cannot make a series, am I right?  *Hesitant smile*

This post is all about (drum roll, again) PLANNING. Planning is like one of the first steps in writing. However, for me, this step is OPTIONAL. Sometimes, I just go with the flow and write whatever the heck I want. But, now I’m starting to make my writing life a LITTLE less crazy and out of control, so for major novels or books I’m going to write, I have decided to make a plan.

Let’s Start Planning!

For this, you will need:

  • Either (or both) a Computer or a notebook (for your planning canvas)
  • At least one writer
  • OPTIONAL: Some motivation (so you can actually write and enjoy yourself)
  • A cheesy post by Violet about planning

Step numero uno:

Get a Story!

 

When I start planning, I USUALLY already have an idea about my story. But a lot of times, planning begins right from scratch. If you are struggling to find some story ideas, and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, here is how to get some inspiration:

  • My suggestion, which is THE MOST IMPORTANT suggestion (haha just kidding, I don’t matter 😦 ) is that you find inspiration from other writers. Whether that means that you read some books, find some stories on blogs, read poems, etc., (can people put commas after “etc”, I’ve never done that before, it’s unnatural) Sometimes finding some other AMAZING authors AMAZING ideas, that can rekindle some AMAZING stories in you!
  • That one bullet was really long, wow
  • My other suggestion is that you look for some real life inspiration. If you want to make a realistic fiction book, try to find some stories that happened to other people to base your book off of. If you are writing science fiction, you can explore some REALLY RAD (please don’t Violet, just don’t) science theories and create some twisted story using the science theory, or just create one of your own!
  • Just look around you, inspiration is everywhere. You just have to search for it. There are not many ways that I can go into detail with this because story ideas come out of anywhere (that sounds weird) so keep an open eye, because ideas can jump out at you, ANYWHERE and ANYWHERE *evil cackle*

 

CHARACTERS!!!!

 

YESSSSSS!!!!!!! CHARACTERS!!!! Making characters is one of my favorite parts of writing! I just find so much happiness in creating new characters for stories *sigh* it’s just so satisfying. Am I weird like that? (Well, I would also like to mention that CHARACTERS and PLOT are interchangeable steps. Sometimes I do one first and the next time I would do the other.) Characters may be fun, but they are still a little bit of a challenge to come up with.  I find myself stuck at creating characters for a really long time and here’s why:

Characters need to be realistic.

Now that I’m maturing (HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA that’s really funny) as a writer, I’m trying to make my characters mature as well…

Me as a writer age 5: There is a smart one with glasses and a dumb one with pigtails

Me as a writer current age: There is a smart one with THICK glasses and a dumb one with TWO pigtails

See what I mean?

Just so you know, my characters are not that two-dimensional (anymore) but I am still improving. So while I was struggling finding depth for my CHs, my friend gave me some tips and I am here to share those with you (along with some of my own)

  • Another list, yay.
  • Find Flaws your character can’t be perfect, there has to be SOMETHING wrong with them
  • EXPLORE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS with other characters. Seeing who is an important CH to them and how they deal with other CHs is very important
  • Find out Their Priorities. What matters to your character, WHY does it matter to them?
  • Find their Weaknesses. Fairly similar to Flaws, BUT IT’S DIFFERENT OKAY….

Another thing that I like to do is create this handy dandy thing called a character profile. These FANCY things can help you keep all of your basic character information stored in one place, making it easier to organize all of your characters, and it’s simpler to plan with

Plot

 

This is where the hardcore planning begins *cue hardcore rock music*.

I tend to do this part in a notebook or on a sticky note (Or on my hand with a pen, true story), but the point is that I like to write it versus type it. I have no idea why, don’t question your superiors (So then I can question you, right violet?).

How do we do this?

Well, the answer is simple. Let’s look just a few years back. A couple more. There. Remember when in like first grade (at least it was first-grade for me) when you’re learning how to write stories and basic six-year-old reading comprehension, and they make you write in those little beginning, middle, and end charts and fill them in for your book? That is almost all you need!!!!

(And just because 60% of this entire post is made of lists and parentheses, let’s make more of them:)

 

IKR

 

  • Start planning your plot, try to get the gist of how the plot moves along the course of your story (BME guys, BME)
  • Look at the issue that you are trying to solve, and look at the solution(s). In order to make a successful plot, there needs to be a problem at hand. (No, really) And there should be a solution, or at least someone trying to reach that solution. When planning for thy beautiful book(/story/novel/short story/etc.), some up with what is actually trying to be solved
  • Start thinking of major events that will take place in your plot and try to find out where they fit
  • Try to find what your climax might be so you can start to work your way up to that point in the story when you write it.

This is a very complicated step in the process of PLANNING, but it is just the beginning (not really ’cause it’s almost the end), now…. we move on to our final step.

Outlining

 

*sigh* *another exasperated sigh* We come to outlining. This step doesn’t ever really end. NEVER. You can make your outline really complex or you can make it simple and just captures the basic overview. If you are taking your story very seriously, I would suggest making the complex one. I’m planning on making my outline in my handy dandy notebook, and not on my computer. CONFESSION: I haven’t actually ever made an outline or outlined any of my stories. But I’m planning on doing it?  That counts, right? Plus I’ve seen other people’s outlines, so I think I have a grasp of how this stuff works

LIST GUYS, ANOTHER LIST:

  • Start with: Planning your plot through chapters. If you have gone through all the steps (like a good person), then you MUST have already planned your plot. In that case, you know where your story is heading so you can plan your chapters and which part of the plot will go through which chapters
  • Plan your chapters. You can use your use your outline to plan what events will take place at what time during a chapter so that when you write, you don’t go through mid-chapter-writers-block, which really really sucks
  • Keep track of progress. If you are working on your outline as you start to write your novel (or your whatever), use your outline to keep track of what you have written, how much you’ve written, and how uh you have left. This way, you’ll be more organized as to what is a priority and what isn’t
  • Keep track of your word count. This is practically the same thing as keeping track of your progress, but it’s a little more focused. If you’re writing for something like NaNoWriMo, or anything that you need to be aware of how many words you are writing, planning how much you are going to write IN YOUR OUTLINE will help you meet your word count goal
  • Be Flexible. Just because it was “in your outline” does not mean it is set in stone. Remember, if you don’t like any of your planning or you just want to change something… wait for it… just change it

As you very obviously know, there are probably much more steps for planning than these four, but these are some vague general ideas that I could give. I tried not to be too specific because it’s YOUR outline and I did want to share some of MY AMAZING (not really) ideas while still letting you use these ideas however you want.

Do you like to write? If you do, do you plan as well?

2017-03-23

Originally posted on- Vibrantly Violet

 

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