Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Plotting Your Story

Now let's talk about plotting and outlines.

Before your freak out, panic, and get overwhelmed, just remember what we talked about last time:
STRUCTURE IS YOUR FRIEND.

So...how do you plot your story?

Easy.

Here's what you do.

Get a blank sheet of paper or open up a new document in your word processor.

Then, answer these questions about your story:
  • Who is the story about (this is your main character)?

  • What's the problem this person is facing? What event turns my main character's world upside down and moves him to resolve the situation?

  • What solution does my main character decide on to resolve the situation?
Now, figure out the following:
  • As your main character moves toward the solution, what obstacles, each "bigger" than the one before, get in his way to try and knock him down and what does he do to get past them?

  • When your main character seems to be almost within reach of the solution, some event occurs than knocks them almost all the way back to the beginning of their struggles, and all hope seems lost. What's this event?

  • Right after that blackest event, another event takes place that throws the main character toward the solution. What's that event? (Doesn't have to happen right after the black event. Maybe a short time later. But don't let too much time pass.)

  • How does the main character resolve the problem? Basically, how does the story end?
Think of this as a loose blueprint. You don't need to know every single tiny detail when you start.

Just know the main points.

When you get down to writing, you'll be able to fill in the details using what you know of your story world, your characters, and the situation.

For now, just a quick sketch of story.

Next time, we'll look at a key ingredient you're gonna need.

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