Techniques for PrePlanning

Discussion in 'Archives' started by Ghost, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Ghost King's Apprentice

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    So, whenever we write stories we pre plan them. At least half if the time at least. I know everyone has their own techniques when planning and I thought this would be a good place to share them. One of mine is that I can visualize my characters in my head unless I draw them out and I can't seem to plan out anything else before I do, kinda weird.
     
  2. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

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    I usually write my stories characters-first, and seeing as art inspires me greatly, I often hunt around for a character portrait or other illustration I like and try to fill in their background, skills, hobbies, etc. I use a similar process in creating setting and the various cultures of my fictional world, only in those cases I draw inspiration from real, existing peoples, past or present. Writing a plot is much more slap-dash for me, I usually just jot down notes when I feel the itch.
     
  3. Misty gimme kiss

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    I write primarily fanfiction so things like visualizing characters isn't too much of a challenge to me -- I'm not in the habit of introducing original characters or anything like that. Before I started my current fanfiction, though, I did virtually no plot planning (besides "hey it would be nice to write about ___") so most of my stories were short. This is the first time I'm writing a multi-chaptered fic so plot planning has become more essential.

    I wouldn't consider my writing very plot-driven and, when I first began, I think I was still in the bad habit of zero planning. As such, the first few chapters floundered without too much direction. I realized this and began to make up rough plans so that I had at least some idea of where I was headed -- or, well, I always knew how I'd be ending, but not how I'd get there, merely hoping things fell into place as I went along. My planned plot points are still rather vague but I think I've hit a good balance right now of knowing where I'm going while still having the freedom to let creativity strike and vary things from my plans if I'd like.

    Still, I don't think I'm great with plot. I don't care much for plot-driven things, more character-driven. A lot of my notes are in this vein, planning how the characters connect and grow and react. I've also began using OneNote to better organize my thoughts, including my major ideas in large text, any images or quotes I find inspiring or pertinent, brief scenes or lines I've planned, and why I chose to use a certain word or presented a certain point in a chapter, alongside the previously described framework for the plot. I've only just started doing so but I think it's really helped me, not just in terms of organization & keeping my ideas together but in giving me more direction. I'd take a screencap but I don't want to spoil where I'm going (and also give myself freedom to change it ;)).
     
  4. Ghost King's Apprentice

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    Seems like you guys have an better time, but I guess that's because y'all have more experience. I wrote a fanfic one when I was ten, wasn't to bad if I do say so myself. But lately I can't seem to get my thoughts down on paper.

    Like, right now I have the big stories swirling around in my head that I have planned out almost completely, but every time I try to jot down a note or something I can never figure out how to write it. So, Im thinking I might just try writing a shorter story and seeing how that works out. Is it any harder?
     
  5. tamale Anyone can wear the mask. YOU can wear the mask!

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    Who says you need to write all the planning in order? When I'm jotting down notes for a story, I get them on paper as they come to me, then worry about organizing them later.

    Like Misty, I usually write a lot more character stuff—as evidenced by my Fanfiction.net account; pretty much everything I've put up is interaction between characters driving a bare-bones plot. When I'm planning, I'm usually just thinking about the story I'm trying to put together, and if something good occurs to me about the plot or characters, I make sure I write it down (or text it to myself if I don't have paper handy), and add it to my collection of notes.

    ...Granted, I use this method almost exclusively for the original novels I'm planning. When I write fanfiction, I usually just sit down on the computer, open Google Drive, and just churn things out one sitting at a time. ^^;
     
  6. Misty gimme kiss

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    I wouldn't say I have much writing experience to be honest! Academically I've done a lot but creatively it's like... some fanfictions and angst poetry I wrote at the tender age of 10. I'd say I've written four important fanfictions in my life. The first was an awful Kingdom Hearts fanfiction for which I'm pretty certain I stole 90% of the plot and scenes from other KH fanfictions I was reading at the time. I count it as important though because it was my first real foray into independently writing something (somewhat) creative. Years later I wrote two short Star Wars fanfictions -- I usually lump them together even though I do feel there was notable growth between them, but one was simply a rewrite of a scene from a game and more of an exercise in "do I want to try writing again." The second was something original, though not by any means weighty in plot, but sort of an outgrowth of the first Star Wars fanfiction.

    The last one is my current project... which I've been working on for three years and it has, in that time, undergone a lot of changes in direction and such (to the point where I'd really like to rewrite the first few chapters to fit in more with my current ideas, but I'm determined to finish it first). I've also recently started something completely original. It's not much yet, I just had all these ideas about writing about love and family and wanted to get some of them down. I'm not sure where it will go but I suppose it's worth mentioning. My point being, I don't want to come off as insanely qualified to speak on the subject or anything -- especially because I mostly write angst romance fanfiction!

    Your struggle, though, is one I've been gripped by before (though my biggest is probably just writing the damn stuff down at all -- I can't tell you how many great ideas I've lost by thinking to myself "nah I'll remember it"). I think it's just about finding how you best express abstract ideas into something that will be useful or readable at a later date. Some people do it through words, others through art or doodling -- you just have to find your medium!

    For me -- and this is probably why it takes me so long to write and I'm not saying it's a good way to go about writing -- I work a lot off of inspiration, primarily from dreams, personal experiences, quotes, and art. What I've been doing in OneNote is collecting those quotes and art together as a sort of "inspiration board." A lot of what I fuel into my work though is based off of personal experience and, therefore, emotion, so that can obviously be hard to record.
    This was sort of my frame of mind for a while but then "collection of notes" turned into "desk drawer filled with dozens of out of order post it notes" and I realized I had a problem haha.

    It's true that planning it's necessary for all writers. Everyone works and writes differently, of course! However, when writing papers & such for school, all through high school I never really thought I needed to do much pre-planning or drafting anything. I started in college and feel my papers are much more succinct now. Without pre-planning I feel I sort of meander in nothingness until I hit something I like. I think I need that direction. But if you don't need to do a lot of planning then that's totally okay too!
     
  7. Ghost King's Apprentice

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    So, I started jotting down some little things about the characters that came to mind and the story us kind of folding out from there, is that character driven because it's working at the moment even though there really isn't a plot. But it's cool I like the direction it's going in. And I also used a www qoute I found awhile back for inspiration. I'm not sll that knowledgeable about fanfic, I've only read like two, but this mindset or whatever you guys are talking about seems to work with this story. Probably because I'm not stressing over a plot like normal. :3 You guys are the best!