Drafting a Story: Early Steps

SkeletalNotes1Back in March, I had a tiny idea sprouting.

This concept of a character and a setting; the two things clashing, began to take form.

I wrote a few scenes-snippets to get a feel for the character voice, devised a vague idea of setting and then left the ideas to simmer.

Last weekend, I sat down in my favourite chair, watching the cats outside with an envelope and a pen. When I came to write up these notes on the computer, I ended up with my first 18 scenes. Pulling details from my setting, the plot I’d briefly worked on before and this new set of events, I merged them to create what will map out my first 20,000 words.

SkeletalNotes2I mentioned in a previous post that I look to have around 70-80 scenes in my list, which pushes me into 90,000 words without needing to come up with new twists part way through.

This is my last step before I draft the story. My setting is solid, I know the background and personality of the key characters, and I have written a few mini-scene snippets to get a feel for the character’s voice.

 What do you need to have planned before you begin writing?


3 responses to “Drafting a Story: Early Steps

  1. Oh I love seeing your planning process, I definitely follow a similar process. When the idea hits me (either forced or more likely, somewhere completely inconvenient) I jot down as many key things as I can (usually as a memo in my phone because I generally cant get to pen and paper at the moment I need it). When I get some time I generally go through and flesh out a few of the ideas and see how they work together, look at a few characters and the key plot twists that have already formed. Then I generally write it out in bullet point format, each twist or plot point, not worrying whether it is in scenes or not. I usually aim for around 30 points, that’s when I take a day break before going back and splitting into scenes, chapters, adding missing points and checking how the flow is working.

    And then I usually end up ruining the plan during the first draft because the characters argue with the plot.

    • It would be so simple if the story just followed the outline, wouldn’t it? But then I guess, it wouldn’t be as… interesting. I don’t plan every missing part since it is often irrelevant by the time I have an actual draft 🙂

      • Oh, so many times my main character decides to change everything about the story without even telling me! I’ll be writing along thinking ‘oh this has to come next, it’s on the plan’ only to find out that the MC has gone the total other direction because that is what they wanted to do!

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