1. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Outlining the plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Scarecrow28, Aug 22, 2008.

    How long should this take? I've been working on my first novel for several months with a character I've had for years, but plot issues have caused me to scrap it again and again. Right now, I'm just starting over with the basic plot points. I'd like to make a good outline so that when I write, my only concern is the quality of the writing and not the plot.
     
  2. Ore-Sama
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    Ore-Sama Senior Member

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    As a general rule, you should probably have a good 40-50% of the plot figured out. Meaning you know the general direction it's going in and you know enough about the kind of world/town/country your characters live in, and a good idea about who your characters are so you have consistency in their actions. You should also have your beggining planned out for the most part with room for tweaking. When you start writing with all this in mind, it'll make things a bit easer.
     
  3. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    This sounds a lot like my past endeavors. If you already got the plot it would take long, but if not, you'll have to do some thinking.

    My first advice is to pinpoint a theme and genre, not that easy really. The theme should be more than "Boy comes of age and defeats a supreme bad guy." As cliche as that may sound, it could use some work.

    After you have those, you'll probably want to think about what you want to happen, unless you don't have a setting, which is your real next stop.

    Before you start outlining you'll need at least the hero, allies, and villains, and a setting. From there you should think about who goes where and when.

    Before any actual outlining, I suggest you research plots of novels in the same genre. If it is an adventure, I would hope you've glanced over "A Hero's Journey" by Joseph Campell.

    Another thing that helped me is starting with something ridiculous and cliche, and then slowly make it more of the story you first envisioned.

    Also, one thing I enjoyed about outlining is the freedom to jump around with writing. If you have certain scenes in mind, even if you don't know where or who, then you can place it where it belongs and go back to it at any time.

    Story boarding is another thing that might help. Use index cards and write out scenes and make note of setting and characters. You'll find yourself moving them around a lot.

    My last bit of advice is the LEGO method. I don't know how long you've had your characters, but some of mine were made back when I was ten, and I would lay with LEGOs. Play became work as I used the toys as visual media. It can essentially be used to get all of the methods listed above in one place. Make all of your characters, and see what you come up with during 'play'. Though I doubt you still ahve any or even enough to create a wide variety of characters.

    Hope I've been help.
     
  4. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Thanks, I'll be sure to check this one out!
     
  5. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    It's not a novel, but a study on myth, legend, and such. Star Wars was purposefully base don it.
     
  6. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    I watched a video on the A Hero's Journey, and it was pretty interesting. George Lucas actually talked a lot during the film, and he said he used the Hero's Joruney for his plot. If you don't know what it looks like, here's a visual representation: http://ias.berkeley.edu/orias/graphics/campbell.gif It's been followed since the first story was told (The Epic of Gilgamesh).
     

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