Susan here. I have a gust blogger, Paulina Czarnecki. I asked Paulina if she’d like to share how she plots, and smart girl jumped on the chance! Only later did I learn she’s just 14 years old!!!
See if you aren’t as impressed as I am.
♥ ♥ ♥
Everyone plots differently. Some writers make very detailed plot outlines. Some don’t plotat all. I am one of the former.
A couple of years ago, when I first started writing seriously, I went online and found Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method. In short, the method instructs you to start with a single sentence and build it out to a paragraph, then to a page, then to a three-page synopsis. This is the method I now use when I plan a plot.
Why is this method useful? First of all, it doesn’t take long. It also pin points major plot holes before you begin writing. Even if you don’t like to plot at all, take your story idea and try to write it into a paragraph: the first sentence should be your introduction, the second, third, and fourth major events—or disasters—in your story, and the last the conclusion, the ending. Can you do it? If not, you don’t have a complete story idea.
For pantsers, writing a paragraph about the general idea of your plot won’t eliminate all of the twists and turns your characters push at you, and it might save you a lot of content editing later. Outlining doesn’t make writing boring. I make very detailed plans before I write and I still find surprises that come at me as I’m writing.
It’s a matter of sooner or later; if you don’t write a short summary before you write your book, you’ll have to do it after.
If a paragraph of plotting is a paragraph too much, try this on for size—you need three things to write a book, right? (I’m mostly talking about action here.) Three basic components: a main character, an evil force or bad guy, and a problem to overcome or a motivation. The MC has to defeat the EVIL FORCE (but can’t) because of the PROBLEM/MOTIVATION.
The main character should have a special, unique voice you use to narrate the story. The evil force should somehow touch the main character personally, to give more reason for the character to fight it. The problem is what stands in the character’s way, and the motivation is why the character wants to fight.
For romance novels it’s a little bit different: The MC has found his/her other half but they can’t be together because of the PROBLEM. The motivation here is love. The problem can be a person or a circumstance that’s keeping them apart.
Even if you’renot a plotter, writing a simple paragraph or writing a single sentence can be a guideline for your entire book. If you have these basic pieces of your story figured out, you can write it without getting off track. It will save you a lot of editing in the long run!
The author of this blog is Paulina Czarnecki. She’s fourteen years old. She has been writing since an elementary school project sparked her interest and telling stories since long before that. She loves spending time with her friends and family and making memories. She also has a blog at www.paulinaczarnecki.wordpress.com.
Thanks, Paulina! Keep in touch. I’m expecting big things out of you!
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