1. jettica
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    jettica New Member

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    Getting a plot onto paper

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jettica, Mar 24, 2010.

    Hi folks. I'm new here so be gentle.

    I'm looking for a way to get my plot down onto paper so it is easy to go back to and look over. I don't want to just write it all out chapter for chapter because it'd be a lot of text not easy to go back to.

    I've tried using yWriter5 but I've decided that I need one document that I can glance out to look at where things are going rather than flicking through tabs and pages.

    Are there free programs out there that you can create characters, plot ideas and storyline ideas on then eventually map it all out into a brainstorm/mind map type format?

    If not then do you have any suggestions?

    I've currently written down the first half of my plot on paper (still working out the ending) and the first few chapter outlines in yWriter. The rest is all in my head so I'm getting easily confused with the sequence I wanted events to happen in.

    Am I thinking about this too much, should I just write?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just write it out as an outline or a short document. You shouldn't need more than a few pages to map it out, unless you're someone who needs to lay out every detail in advance before you begin writing. If you are, then I'd recommend using an outline format.

    You shouldn't need anything fancier than a word processing program. Still, some people do fall in love with specialty software. I wouldn't waste the money, or even the tim for freeware, but that's just my opinion.

    To me, the manuscript itself is where I keep the details. With any decent word processor, you have search capabilities if you are having trouble finding a detail you need to be reminded of. Besides, if your plot summary is more than a few pages long, you'd have as much difficulty finding the details there as you would in your manuscript!

    Also, with all the work you put into writing your novel, you'll pretty much KNOW where you said what, in many cases word-for-word.
     
  3. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    I plot with index cards for each scene. Simple little sentences suffice for what happens in the scene; the rest becomes very clear in your head. I color code based on POV. Plus, with index cards, its easy to rearrange and add new scenes.

    That's usually the most plotting I need to get going on my projects.
     
  4. boesjwoelie
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    boesjwoelie Member

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    personally, I use this folder, in which I store every idea I get. Every now and then I put in a new document or folder, some with details, others with scenes, characters, plot, ect.
    It's getting very hard to find stuff I need, but I sort of like it this way...
    Anyway, about your question, I've heard of people who just give every scene a name and put them in a spreadsheet, so you might want to try that :p
     
  5. jettica
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    jettica New Member

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    Thanks everyone. So far I'm just writing anything that comes to me and either labelling where it goes in the story, so far I have 1,2,3, or giving it a name if I'm not sure where it should go.

    I think I need something visual. Maybe I should get a huge piece of paper and map it out that way. For the time being I'm going to deal with doing it on the fly, nothing written down. For the first time in ages I'm feeling inspired to actually write so I'm going to get on with that.

    Maybe I'm just finding ways to procrastinate from writing while still working on the novel. That's very much like me.
     
  6. Mila
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    Mila Member

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    I've got one side of A4 with the major plot points highlighted in bold, and a short sentence under each one describing what comes of that. I'm not a writer who likes everything set in stone before I start to write, so that way I know where I'm going, but also leave myself some flexibility in how I get there. Plus I get what you're saying - who wants to spend ages reading through your own story-boarding when you could be writing the story ? :D
    I then keep two notebooks - one small for random tangents or potential problems, and one larger for the scenes which inevitably pop into my head on the walk to work or in the shops...because there's nothing like inconvenient places/times for getting the creative juices flowing...
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I usually write mine down as notes or as thoughts that come to me. I can be imagining the beginning of the story, so I write that down. Other days, I can be imagining the ending, so I write that down. Afterwards I just go back, fill in the holes and make corrections and adjustments. :)
     
  8. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't say i have ever made notes on paper, microsoft word.

    Maybe i just have an okay memory, but i just seem to remember pretty much everything i need, when i need.

    Long ago when i was tryong to write some AD&D novel i used to draw maps. That's as close as i got.

    Maybe if i get a few books into a certain series i'm attempting i'll start, as i'm sure problems cause arise.
     
  9. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Use Bullet-ed points.
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^ That's a good idea. Just write down every tidbit you think of WHEN you think of it (don't leave it, you may forget it) and then that'll make it easy to fill in the blanks. :)
     

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