Another Writer’s Write article I’d like to discuss on Wednesday Wisdom is:
Top 10 Tips for Plotting your story. (© Amanda Patterson)
Write the ending first.
Choose your antagonist before you choose your protagonist.
Give your characters physical story goals.
Decide on a genre and stick to it.
Write a synopsis.
Be disciplined with settings.
Stick with Two Supporting Characters.
Break your story into scenes.
Wrap it up and write ‘The End’.
He wins but…
It’s been mentioned before how I usually delve right into the story without giving much thought to things like characterization, scene sketching, flow chart creation, and a majority of the finer points mentioned above.
This is likely due to my being impatient, scatterbrained, and so filled with the story unfolding in my head that writing is the only logical next move.
The editing aspect of writing is when I think about such things and consider a lot more than just the story itself. When I’ve finished a rough draft, it is easy to go back and fill in all the holes, decide what works and what can be deleted, and whether I’ve adequately portrayed each character to their fullest potential.
The very last point would be useful when writing a series of linked novels. Always keeping in mind that one or more of the characters introduced in this first novel will have their own story at some point down the road (romance novels).
We’ve also talked at length about writing the ending prior to anything else, and while I don’t do this physically, there are times when I know how I’d like things to end — usually about half-way through my rough draft, if not sooner.
A synopsis is something most publishing houses ask for when submitting a manuscript for consideration. I really suck at this but had to suffer through enough of them in college to know the basics and their importance to the big-wig in charge of your livelihood (or grade).
With this 15th re-write, I decided to try writing a synopsis before I did anything else, and I only got so far when the urge to just jump right into the rewrite took hold and I let the thing go completely. To me, they are blow-by-blow of each chapter in your story, which helps you better understand flow, sense, and worth. It’s a good idea to do this with each novel you’d like to write and/or submit.
Choosing the antagonist first is one of those embarrassing admissions of mine. I happen to adore the antagonist 9 out of 10 times in movies and novels, yet conceiving my own are much harder than knowing precisely who the two leads will be, what they look like, how they behave, and why they’re after one another.
In my own writing, the antagonists tend to develop in afterthought or as an aside character when I know darn well this is a big no-no and something I’ve taken into considerable consideration with my current rewrite. The first effort did have a viable antagonist, but the trouble was most of my beta readers preferred him over my lead. LOL 😀
Sounds like I’ve led myself rather nicely into another blog topic!
So, what do you think? It’d be great to hear from people who take the time to study their reasons for wanting to write prior to getting the job done since this is something I obviously need to work on and learn how to perfect.
Do you think doing this helps your writing, or are you like me and tend to iron out the details after the rough draft is complete?