Now that you have created your game plan (Character outlines) and have devolved an idea for the type of story you want to write then you are ready to get on to the next part. Identify your Plot structure!
You want to get a good solid grasp on what you are going to be writing so that your story stays on track and so you can write your story to its maximum potential.
First this is first what the hell is plot and what is structure?
Plot is simple that is the series of events that make up your story.
The structure is the over all layout or design of your story.
Basically there is a beginning, middle, and end to every story. Just depends on how you want to write it. Or you can chose a more complicated writing arc, such as rising action, conflict, falling action and conclusion. More details of this can be found on Plotting a Short Story. (of course any advice or ideas you get from there can easily be used for a full novel as well.)
Now once you develop a good idea of what your plot and structure is going to be then you can being writing out your outline. I like to do this will small sentences before I begin. Once I get writing I’ll add new ideas to the outline, making it ever expanding! If a new idea strikes me when I am out and about then I add that to the outline as well. This is use as my cheat sheet to help me keep everything in order. I also use a character outline as well. Click for Character Outline.
I failed to mention in previous post but another way of getting to know your character is to interview your character. That might help you when you get stuck! Interview your Character!
As you write remember to think about the story and where it is heading. How many parts of the story needs to be told. (meaning how many books). Is the character, or characters experiencing a positive or negative character arc. And how do they continue to change, grow, learn?
If you are like me and you need visuals then by all means look at a play! My favorite is “Into the Woods”. Of course you can use television. I would suggest “Bones”. Bones is constantly learning how to be “human”. For a funnier example I would suggest watching “The Big Bang Theory.” Sheldon is constantly learning something. If you need a clear example of beginning, middle, and end, then I would lean more towards “Bones.” They find a body, they look for clues, they find a suspect, they link the suspect, they solve a murder. Simple.
So, deep breath! Now that you are armed with an outline, detailed or not, you are ready to start. Having said that I do want to mention this, if you are doing something seriously detailed oriented (Think “Harry Potter”, “Game of Thrones.”) then you will want to spend a LOT of time on your outline. From my understanding J.K. Rowling took five years writing her outline. As with these series you can spread out the details of your character and the things that are plaguing them. For example in “Harry Potter”, there were mini plots all wrapped around the ONE big plot. Harry had to literally fight obstetrical before he even made it to the grand fight with Voldemort. “Twilight”, I know I’m bringing that up again! (Good character development here!), Bella endured a lot of growing before she had to endure the super “fight” with the wolves and the Volturi.
By the way seriously good Character Development. Though “New Moon” drove me up the wall, you should study that if you want an example of character development. If that is just making you gag then I would suggest “The Girl on the Train”. Seriously, that girl went through some serious crap before she finally got her shite together! If you want something less gripping and more sexy then I would suggest the “Crossfire Series.” Gideon Cross went through a serious struggle with his past abuse before he realized that he was worthy of being loved.
So there you have it! Not hard at all! Right? Not to add to your list of “to do’s” but you also need to figure out POV. Point of view. But that is the least of your worries at this point, right?
I would love to hear about what you are working on and I would love to read sections of what you have. We can share! I would love some feedback on what I am reading, cause I’m sort of stuck! Anyway remember there is a free download “My series checklist” below. I am here to support you when you are crying your eyeballs out cause your story is taking a toll on you! Until then Keep on Writing! (trying a new catch phrase, hoping it will catch on like “Fetch”! lolz)
As promised here is a link for my series checklist!