I love traveling, it’s something I plan as much as possible and look forward to through the year. But another thing I love to do is write. For many reason writing for me is cathartic, it feels good to have something that was only living in my brain be splashed on a page for others to read
For me, traveling and writing go hand in hand. The more I travel, the more inspired I become, the more ideas float around and take up much of my thinking space, which is fun for the short term, but maybe not so great when I have important business decisions to make. Any writer would know how real characters can get in your head!
I think this is why it is important for me to be able to plan out my stories well, so I can translate these scenes in my brain to the page in the most efficient way possible, where everything I feel is laid out for others to feel as well.
When I begin writing, one thing that I can never do enough of is plan. No matter how much I think I plan in advance, there’s always room for improvement. In writing my novel, I have taken a lot of time to plan where the story was going creating narratives for my characters that could stand up to multiple stories.
However, once I started writing, and got about 7000 words in, I’ve realised I needed to go back to the plan and expand it, looking down into the plots within my plots, so I’m not left stranded in my writing not knowing where the story is going, or worse, what I’ve written not making sense.
In university, I was on a creative course, so I had to do a lot of planing when it came to working to a schedule to get my projects done. this is how I began to get really good at sticknig to a plan, becuase when you have a progject that has to get done, you find a way to do it. I could then use these skills in other areas of my life, my writing being one of them.
In my latest project though, I’m not working to anybody’s time scale but mine, so self-determination is a key factor
There are ways I break down my planning:
- Structure planning – this is going over the whole storyline, be it one book or a whole series. This, I would say, is the biggest task of all, but the one I start with. When I have an idea of what I want my characters to do and where I want the story to go. When I first draft this, it will never be complete, but as long as I have a rough outline, I can move happily onto the next stage.
- Novel 15 Beat Plan – I am currently using the 15 Beat structure plan to plot my novel. I use this to make sure my story flows and is bursting with interesting plot points. This expands on the structure plan, focusing on smaller points that I may not have factored into the overall universe of my books.
- Chapter Plan – An even smaller take, looking at how I am going to break the story up, how to make it flow better, making sure one chapter isn’t to heavy with important plot points, and another chapter that doesn’t have any. For this, I make sure there is at least one beat in each chapter, to keep the story moving and to make sure nothing is wasted and pointless.
How do you plan your stories? Is there anything I’ve missed that you think I should try? I’m just a novice writer ready and willing to hear your advice!