Thanks for coming back today to check out my blog; really appreciate it. 😀
I am going to be going through each step I take to write a book here; even though I’ll be doing it at a faster pace, I’ll post once a day. (For the planning part, at least; that will go quicker than writing.) I invite you to try out this with me and tell me how your story is going in the comments every time you do a step.
There are two types of writers: the ‘Planner’, and the ‘Pantser’. The Planner is exactly what it sounds like: they plan before they write. The Pantser is called that because they’re ‘writing by the seat of their pants’. Or something like that. 😆 Anyway, the translation of a Pantser is this: they write without planning. They’re basically the opposite of the Planner.
In all honesty, I’m more of a Pantser person. That isn’t a bad thing; some people like doing it that way. But being a Planner is actually what will get you to the end of your story.
Usually, when I attempt to plan a story, I get bored with it after 30 or so odd minutes. I like the writing part of writing. But I discovered that I was going about it all wrong.
When I tried to plan my stories, I went into too much detail. When you initially plan a story, you just need a rough outline.
If you hated outlines as much as me in school, then you’re probably thinking along the lines of, “Blah! Outlines!” And if you still remember how old I am, then you’re probably also thinking, “But you’re still in school…”
True. But I’m on summer vacation right now. So it doesn’t count.
Anyway, you get the idea. I’m one of those people that’ll take writing over planning my writing any day.
But I decided to give this way of planning a go.
Basically, you write down your idea in the middle of a sheet of paper. Then, around it, you write down what you know about that idea, and then add on. (An idea dump.) You end up with a tree graph, basically. An idea that you might only have enough information for around five pages could turn into enough for two or three novels. (No seriously, it’s happened before)
My ‘tree graph’ didn’t exactly turn into a tree graph… but it worked!
All that stuff on the paper is my writing.
And you know what the best part was?
I only had a sentence of an idea before I started doing it.
I am not kidding. This happened. When I had one idea, I took it, and then added to it. And that can unlock new ideas. Which can make even more. And more. It’s a snowball effect of awesomeness!
Before you run off to scribble down your own tree graph, make sure you’re prepared by getting these five things. This is only one sheet of paper, but it took me around forty minutes.
Grab a pencil and pencil sharpener. Not a pen. Sometimes, you might run out of room in a spot, and if it’s in pen, you can’t erase it and restart!
Get a drink! Personally, I used water while writing this, but coffee or tea is also great. Depends on how you’re feeling. (And if you don’t mind that the caffeine in coffee will keep you up at night if it’s later in the day.)
You need a piece of paper! I know this is the obvious one, but I need to clarify that it shouldn’t be lined. All blank. I actually don’t know why, but that’s how I was told to do it, and it worked.
Put on music. It should be music without words, though; otherwise, it’ll just distract you! (Trust me, it helps.)
Get comfy! This graph should take a bit, and you don’t want to be itching to get up.
Your tree graph might turn into a tree graph (the way it’s supposed to) or be more like mine:
That’s a zoomed in picture of my paper. And I hope that you can’t read it; my book is supposed to be a surprise!
Of course, it also doesn’t help you get what I ended up doing, so…
I started off with my idea in the middle of the paper. As an afterthought, I added a box around it, so that I wouldn’t lose it amidst what I might end up writing. Then, I drew a small line upward. At the end of it, I wrote what I knew of my idea. (a.k.a. the only thing I knew about it so far) Then, after a few moments, I got another idea. And after writing it down, another. And after writing that down, another.
The ideas came, and when I paused sometimes, the music was playing. It helped me to come up with more stuff, weirdly enough.
You don’t have to go into detail. Just write down that basic stuff. Maybe add in a quotation or two here and there to help you remember things. Each part shouldn’t be that long.
When I’d finished (and filled up the entire sheet!) I had the plan for a story.
This is not magic. It is not some lucky break. It’s something anyone can do.
I’ll be back again soon with the next step I’m taking for writing a book!
Did you try this?
If so, how’d it go?