1. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    do your bullet pointed story plots often have too much detail in them?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by dave_c, May 15, 2012.

    My Story writing has four main stages

    1. The summery - a basic paragraph of what the story is about, though in truth this usually stays in my head
    2. a bullet pointed version - this is just a list of major items that happen in the story
    3. expand it to a first "full draft" - a vastly padded out version of the above which is starting to read like an actual story
    4. and then refine from there - basic buffing shinning and otherwise "making pretty"

    I'm at stage 2 and my bullet points are getting more and more detailed I had to stop myself adding dialogue in at one point.

    Is this a really bad thing or is it showing that I'm getting really into the story?
    Also do other people work like this? I'm totally self taught so have been making up the method or structure of my writing as I go.
     
  2. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    In the writing/creative process, there are as many methods as there are writers. The simplest advice in your case is "Do what works best for you." Sometimes I do alot of planning (too much on occasion) and sometimes I just jump in feet first and see what happens. It sounds like even though you have a good system (for you) that you're at a point where your story wants to be told. If you find yourself starting to flesh out details and plugging in dialogue, then maybe your muse is ready to be released. I'd recommend just start writing, satisfy the urge. If/when you hit a snag, then revert back to planning if needed. Really, the biggest hurdle for a writer is writing. Deep huh?
     
  3. John Eff
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    John Eff Member

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    Do whatever works: there are no rights or wrongs.

    For example, I tend to write and see what happens. If I run into a bit of a wall I will then bullet point to see where it could go, choose one, and I'm off again. Sort of the reverse of your process.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I start writing when stage 1 is firmly in my head. I'll have considered milestones and scenes, but I don't bullet point them, or even write them down until (unless) they appear in manuscript.
     
  5. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    DAVE_C

    like a couple of people have posted, there is no right or wrong answer here. Your method/timetable looks a lot like mine right now lol. So I'd say good stuff. Just let whatever is going to happen, happen. Write as much as you can, plan as much as you want -- feel your way through it!

    It does sound like you are getting into the story, which is a good thing.

    For me, I usually spend a couple weeks mulling over an idea in my head, then I write the beginning out, and from there, I make some bullet points, as you have done. Once that first draft is complete, I go through the last 'shinning' stage. Keep it up.
     
  6. Lazy
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    Lazy Banned

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    This is an analogy I stole from George R. R. Martin:

    There are (generally) two types of writers: the Architect and the Gardener. The Architect makes detailed plans and blueprints, everything is controlled, he knows exactly where to put every element to create what he's designed. The Gardener plants a seed of his choosing and tends to it, waters it with his blood and sweat, and, depending on the wind and the sun and the rain, sees what grows.

    No one is entirely one or the other, and neither way is better. Whatever works for you is best for you. I am a Gardener.
     
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  7. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    My guess is you've slipped into stage 3 without realizing it. Go with it.
     
  8. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    thanks for the advice all, will just plod on with it then :)
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you fancy writing the dialogue, then start a new blank page and write away! When your inspiration runs dry again, go back to your bullet points and continue from where you'd left off.

    I'm the bullet point type - but then my bullet points get more detailed and I start putting in quotes and bits of dialogue. I don't develop them, just a few lines here and there (also as bullet points but indented) and then I carry on with my plan. If you're a planner, be careful not to abandon working out a plan, but there's nothing wrong with indulging in a few scenes if you get a flash of inspiration!
     
  10. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Sounds like a good method, but if I were following this I'll keep step 2 fluid, because I know when I am in step 3, step 2 will keep changing (which is how it should be, I suppose). And yeah, I usually repeat step 4 about 10 times :)
     
  11. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    I wish I were like that. Unfortunately, steps 2,3 and 4 get reaped about 10-15 times, its probably why it takes me so long to actually get something releasable.
     
  12. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Don't force yourself to stop during a creative moment!
    I'm so completely shocked that you would stop yourself there. That's the magic moment that the story becomes real in your mind, without that I'm not sure it's possible to write a story that will truly draw your reader in.
     
  13. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Dave, re-reading your original post it feels like the rules you have created to write your story is ironically preventing you from writing the story. You are so fixated on following the rules that you are losing focus from the one thing you set out to do: to write a story. So what if you start doing step 3 and 4 while doing step 2, the rules are your creation, break them at will. Use your method when you have nothing or very little to move your story forward.
     

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