1. xx._bareyoursoul

    xx._bareyoursoul New Member

    Jun 11, 2007
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    a small town in pennsylvania

    How do you plan?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by xx._bareyoursoul, Jun 11, 2007.

    A topic which has always interested me, is how and to what extent other writers plan their pieces before sitting down to begin the process of writing a first draft. I've done it many different ways in my past, and I typically try something new with every project.

    So how do you plan?

    I tend to fall on the end of the spectrum that plans obsessively for lengthier pieces of fiction. If I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time on a piece, I need to have a lot of things firmly established before I start writing. I spend days working on worldbuilding alone.

    For instance, the first two days of my summer vacation were spent drawing a map of the land in which my fantasy novel takes place, writing a description of how the system of magic would work, descriptions of job classes, and discussing the differences between the ranks and classes of the society.

    The second two days were spent developing a plot from start to finish. I have an extremely large dry erase board (i'd say it's about 3' x 5') which I drew a flow chart on showing the flow of events. Then I wrote scene cards for each of the events and added and changed things as I saw fit.

    Before I actually sit down to write I'll still do a ton of character building, and developing the landscape of my fantasy land.

    Nothing is so completely set in stone though that I'll refuse to go back and change it.

    So that's how I plan, I'm interested to see how all of you do.
  2. IndianaJoan

    IndianaJoan New Member

    Oct 10, 2006
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    Washington State
    I usually get an idea for a plot and then the first thing I do is start building my characters. I dedicate pages to writing out their life story from start to finish so that I know them really well.

    I dont write fantasy/sci fi so maps arent really something I need to draw out, but I do research about the professions/time period/environment that my novel is set in.

    I tend to believe that if I have well rounded characters that I know well, they end up writing the story for me.

    I do usually have the basic plot scratched out and summed up in about a page just as a guideline, but there are times when I have absolutely no idea where the novel is heading so I just kinda go with it.

    Nice to have you aboard!
  3. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    I get an idea, sometimes a scene or a situation. It bounces around a while. Then I jot down ideas, to expand upon it. Character ideas and where the plot would go.

    Then I determine where the story or novel should start and where/how it should end. Fill in the middle with major plot events.

    Then write.

    Not overly extensive but sets an outline for me to use.

  4. Crazy Ivan

    Crazy Ivan New Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    The dumpster behind your McDonalds.
    I get an idea (Usually a one-liner or a bizarre scene) and come up with an excuse to write it down (A scene for the one-liner, a plot for the scene). From there, I write and write.
  5. Domoviye

    Domoviye New Member

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    Well I usually just let an idea roll around in my head until I like it. It can take a few months, to a few minutes.
    By the time I write it down, I have the basic details down.
    In the case of fantasy, a general idea of geography for the immediate area, form of government, type of magic (I have a few systems worked out in my head so its a simple case of pick the most appropriate one), and of course characters and plot.
    I'll eventually write up a map, but usually only after I get started with the actual writing.

    With sci-fi, I'll figure out the technology level, aliens (if any), number of colonized planets, basic government, and fit the plot into it.

    For ones set in modern Earth, its much simpler to just come up with the plot and characters.

    Any information I need for the settings, I just do quick searches for on the net. This actually works fairly well as I usually have a basic idea of everything I write, (I found the best way to not sound like a fool, is to avoid talking about things you have no knowledge of but others do. So quantum physics is out, but riding on a dragon is fine) so most of the research is just confirmation, and looking up some more details.
  6. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Mar 31, 2007
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    Reading, UK
    I let an idea more or less beat itself into something half-complete, and then I start writing, and just see where it takes me. I usually write out a plot outline after the first few chapters, but it doesn't often work out anything like the final thing.
  7. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    i never plan in advance... i simply start writing when an idea hits and then stop to plan, if and when i need to... which is never for short works and always at some point, for a novel or feature length screenplay...

    for the latter, i find a skeleton chapter/scene outline or brief synopsis/treatment does the trick...
  8. KimberlyDawnWells

    KimberlyDawnWells New Member

    Jun 5, 2007
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    When inspiration hits I don't make time to plan. I sit and write and write and write until I've written every idea that comes to mind so far.

    THEN I go back and organize. I put the ideas in order. I mindmap additional details, I fill in blanks, and I slowly beef up the story one section at a time, usually randomly.
  9. Baywriter

    Baywriter Contributor Contributor

    May 31, 2007
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    Simple. I don't plan. xD
  10. dungman

    dungman New Member

    Jul 3, 2007
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    tho i never tried this way but it sounded pretty useful for any writer

    carry a mini memo with you to any place or even out for lunch and once you spot an interesting idea out there you should jot it down. then with this new interesting idea down you can start forming a story by expanding on it.

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