Have you kept yourself from planning your story? I have, but I do admit I’ve been day dreaming about it. Well on the 24th we can finally begin actively brainstorming and day dreaming and writing everything out! (Yeah, it is actually a day early, but 24 is so much cooler than 25.) And I’m getting myself all excited an nervous, mainly because I know that once I being planning my story the real excitement is going to kick on, and I’m excited about excitement. And then on June 1st we can finally start! (Dancing a little jig)
So here’s a list of what I’ll be actively brainstorming with my pen pal, Meghan, who is getting up with me at 6:00am on Thursday morning. (See she had this awesome idea to connect our stories somehow, either these stories, or connect them later with a sequel.)
1. What characters are essential? Establish those characters. What characters could you add for height, depth, and over all fullness? Don’t plan on using them yet, but know that they are there.
2. What is your main character like before and after this story? Make a list. What main events happen that change them? (Btw, if your character is exactly the same at the end of the story as he was at the beginning, change that–robots are boring.)
3. Who is related to and/or attached to and/or despises and/or bumps into who? This can be fun when everything and everyone somehow connects to everything. Don’t make it unbelievable though.
4. Play what if…a lot. Come up with parallels between characters, discover a subplot, add details to your main character. If you have trouble starting, list up to nine things that you could add into the story somehow: Flute, Dulcimer, Sitting alone, Castles, Farming, Slavery, Secrets, Outlaws, Writing letters…And use those to spark your imagination.
5. Find your tale’s tone. I got this one from Ready, Set, Novel! Just check off from the list everything that fits in your story.
First-person point of view
Action packed plot
Slower moving character study
Cliffhanger chapter endings
Novel made up of connected short stories
Keep in mind all this when writing your novel.
6. List things that drive your main character to do what she does. List things that drive your villain as well.
7. When you’ve played What-if enough and you have plenty of things to work with, choose what you want to use and then put it in a timeline. If you are using flashbacks, put those on the timeline too in the places you want to use them. While making your timeline, somethings may not fit, and somethings may demand to be added. That’s okay.
And this is a really basic list, but I just smacked it together, so you can’t expect much. As usual.