This is part 3 in a 3 part series. For the first two parts see below:
OK so you have built a character and written some scenes to practice your writing style. Now it’s time to build a plot. Creating an effective plot will be one of the hardest and most integral parts to writing your book. It is essential that you create a plot plan that you can flesh out later with writing. The more thought and effort you put into your plan the easier it is for you when you come to write out your book.
1. Read through all you have done so far
Read through all the scenes and character descriptions you have written so far. Print them off and spread them out over your floor or pin them up on a story board in consecutive, time order.
2. Write a high level plan of the beginning, middle and end
Write the main events for each section, and write a high summary of the whole plot. Provide some detail about what writing style you are going to use. Is it going to be written in first person? Will any parts of it be written in a conversational tone? Is it a thriller, romance novel, comedy? It is good to define these things early, although they may change as your plot takes shape. It is important to have a direction and a style for your novel, so you have something you can stick to. The better planned out and structured your plot is, the better the reading experience will be for your reader.
3. Plan each section in detail
Write at least one A4 side of bullet points for each section. Include:
-Plot points, significant events that happen
-When new characters are introduced and how
-Where scenes you have already written will fit in
-When the readers impression will change in some way, they might learn something new about a character or the plot that will change their expectation of the outcome of the story
4. Read some good books and try to write a plan for them
Flick through your favourite books and then look at your own plan keeping in mind the following questions:
-How does one part of the story lead on to another?
-What hints lead up the plot points? Are the major plot points expected, suprising, obvious or believable? Is this what is going to entertain the reader and make it a good read?
-Are there any scenes or plot points in there that don’t add anything to the story?
-In what way are the characters introduced?
-How does the story build suspense and keep us reading?
5. Rewrite your plan at least twice
With a good plan, writing your story should be easy. It is important that you take some time away from your plan, and then re-read it a few hours or days later and pick through the finer points. Get the big decisions about your story out the way now and it will save a lot of time later. What do you need to add in/cut out? What has made your story exciting and relatable to others? The questions you ask will depend a lot on what kind of novel you are writing. Many crime and ‘who dunnit’ novelists choose to plan their entire novel and then go back through and change one of their characters, or the direction of their novel in order to create an unexpected element for their readers.
How do you plan your stories, or articles that you write? Please let us know in the comments section below!
If you liked this post, please feel free to share it on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ 🙂