1. Jdeadevil
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    Jdeadevil New Member

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    Is this chapter structuring idea any good?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jdeadevil, Jan 12, 2013.

    So because I've never properly written a story before, and the only times I've really found myself using Microsoft Word to its creative peak was in university assignments, I've always been a tiny bit clueless on how to get a good brainstorming table going. I've tried to use a similar technique to structure out chapters as when I was writing boring reports, I know that sounds silly but I'll explain. Say I want a story to follow the main character through his life and all the different chapters take place at a different age, I have 8 'chapters' which randomly increase in age up to 40. Between each chapter I have 9 bullet points which are brainstorming ideas for each mini chapter (9 mini chapters make up one chapter). So it's like this, basically:

    Chapter One
    Mini-Chapter One
    Mini-chapter Two
    Mini-chapter Three
    Mini-chapter Four
    Mini-chapter Five
    Mini-chapter Six
    Mini-chapter Seven
    Mini-chapter Eight
    Mini-chapter Nine
    Chapter Two
    Mini-chapter One
    Etc Etc


    It's a bit messy but I don't know any other methods, and I just don't want to end up writing a really short story someone will likely end up devouring within the week. Is there any easier way of doing this or am I doing just fine?
     
  2. dgorski08
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    dgorski08 New Member

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    From what I've seen with writing, and really any creative endeavor at that, is that the process should be whatever works best for you. If this is what works for you, then it is probably the way to go. But, if it helps, I'll share what I would do in that situation.

    I'm a very visual person, and bullets and in-line formatting of my planning doesn't really work well for me (unless writing some dry essay). I prefer webs myself, where I can go all over the page and use every bit of space to get ideas in there. So in this situation, I would probably make one page for each of the mini-chapters, and then separate the groups of pages according to chapter. It might be messy and take up a lot more space, but it might also allow for the maximum development of ideas - as you're not just trying to cram everything in line-by-line.

    However, I'm just a novice writer so really, I'd take my advice with a grain of salt. Good luck figuring it out though, and Happy Writing :)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what are you calling 'mini-chapters'?... do you mean individual scenes, or what?
     
  4. Oswulf
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    Oswulf New Member

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    How long are your mini-chapters? I would just call them chapters and have the section they are in titled as the age of the character in the coming chapters:

    28
    Chapter One
    Chapter Two
    et cetera

    35
    Chapter One
    et cetera

    Unless your eight so-called chapters are roughly chapter length and the mini-chapters really are very very short, I think a reader might be mildly confused about why you are redefining what they know the word 'chapter' to mean.

    P.S. I just read back what I wrote and I don't think it makes a whole deal of sense. I shall post it anyway though.
     
  5. Jdeadevil
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    Jdeadevil New Member

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    Well I wouldn't specifically say "Mini-chapter" in the book, lol I'm just meaning it to give a synopsis for a group of pages, like episodes in a TV series.
     
  6. mbear
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    mbear Member

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    Are you sure your not thinking about what a lot of people consider scenes? I also prefer writing my outlines like that and get too confused with the web structure. Although I usually write out main events in my characters lives in the order that they happen and then I break those into the chapters with usually three to seven "scenes" (but I do have more or less depending). I also have a period of time when it is taking place (Probably a 80 year period) in my current piece of work but there are many gaps and some years are more important than others and some years are never mentioned.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it does sound like scenes... and you seem to be trying to write by formula, which is usually not a good idea...
     

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