1. Aria Thorne

    Aria Thorne New Member

    Aug 26, 2017
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    Rochester, NY

    Can I create a plot around a scene?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Aria Thorne, Nov 6, 2017.

    I just wrote 3000 words that came out of nowhere, and that have nothing to do with the project that i was trying to work on. It has new characters in a great setting, but with no backstory or plan. So now I'm sitting here trying to create a plot around a few scenes without much else to go on. Normally I come up with a plotline and I plan everything out before I start writing. So what I'm wondering is if it's a bad idea for me to try to create an entire story around so little. Should i just go for it, or should I chalk it up as a great writing session that will never be more? Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

    Sep 17, 2017
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    Of course you can.
    I never plan, and I never plot. My current WIP came from one scene (which was actually a dream).
    Pull the characters out, find out what they want and why, and go from there.When you know what they want, and who they were before the scene you wrote, you can create struggles and conflict for them.
    Aria Thorne likes this.
  3. Jason Govender

    Jason Govender Member

    Nov 1, 2017
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    South Africa
    Most people will tell you that there are two types of writers: Discovery and outliners.
    There are pros and cons to both styles. I personally see myself as a discovery writer. I hate planning, I find it boring and painful to do.
    For my current WIP I just put detective duo in a house and saw what happened. No pre-planning just a setting, characters and an idea of where I wanted to end up.
    If you found yourself getting so much done in one session and you found yourself enjoying the process then I would say that discovery is for you.
    The drawback to this is that by the end of your first draft you end up doing a lot of editing. But it als0 allows for a more organic plot development.
    Your first draft is also known as "very detailed outline".
    My advice would be to do a little research into the two writing styles and see which one fits you best.

    Good luck!
    minstrel, Todd and Shenanigator like this.
  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

    May 21, 2009
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    I used to think I could write like this, but after many many years of failed novel attempts had to admit my method was one (of many) contributory factors to my failures. So I forced myself to plan the last attempt, and even though this one still hit the pile of abandoned novels at around the 20,000 word mark, everything went so much smoother than they do when I try and wing it.
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  5. Todd

    Todd New Member

    Nov 10, 2017
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    I would have to agree with the 'Discovery' method of plot development. In my own attempts, I have struggled sticking to an outline. I find myself filling in the blanks between turning points, creating plot devices just to serve a preconceived destination. I feel the natural flow of a story suffers when I do this. From what I've read, G.R.R. Martin does not use plot outlines for the same reason. But perhaps he is not a writer you would wish to emulate if you're looking to finish a piece in your lifetime. But I think it is good practice to flesh out scenes that come out of the ether, as it were. They might not have relevant application to what you're working on, but they might serve a purpose down the road; or in another story.

    Shenanigator and Simpson17866 like this.
  6. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

    Aug 23, 2013
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    Almost two years ago, I posted a quick-and-dirty summary of a scene to this website because I was convinced that I could not flesh it out into an entire story.

    This week, I hit 50,000 words for the story I came up with around the scene :) (And that's including a more-than-half-a-year stretch that I was blocked from focusing on other projects instead)

    What worked for me was writing notes about a whole bunch of my ideas that I didn't think I could write about, and my story came about from realizing how perfectly two completely different ideas worked together ;)

    Only a non-outliner would say that :cool:

    Outliners like me know that we're discovery writers as much as everybody else is :)

    You say "Your first draft is also known as 'very detailed outline'."

    I say "My outline is also known as 'the zeroth draft'." :D
    Jason Govender likes this.
  7. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

    Mar 28, 2017
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    Ann Arbor, MI
    I've just finished a short story that came from an ending scene inspired by a writer's prompt. My writing method currently is to take an idea and write the story it inspires down as it flows. Once I have that, then, I then start my prep work for the 1st draft.

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