There are two types of writers.
• Those who do not like to plot and start writing immediately counting on their imagination to lead them through the end
• Those who plan everything (either in detail or not) to have an outline to work with before the start writing.
None of these two categories is wrong or correct. What is true is that those writers of the first category would probably have much more work to do on the editing stage. But it is ok if they do not mind doing so!
“Why they have to do more editing?”
That is because our mind, when writing, might be able to think of conflict but sure it is difficult to think of the greater conflict or the most-suitable one. And even you succeed it once you cannot do it every single time.
“Do we have to plot then before we start?”
No, there is no need for something like this if you have a problem or simply do not want to plot your story. What matters is feeling creative and write about what you have to say. What you have to do is to have in mind that your story is going to need serious editing.
“So, how do we plot our story?”
That is the most-crucial question. I always recommend trying to plot your story, and I am going to show you how exactly to do that right away.
So what do we plot?
We plot the conflict. All our story has to be about a conflict. I will give you an example of my book as I have it clearer to my mind.
My main hero is going to acquire some special powers. Right as I want to write paranormal. Well, it is impossible to wake up one day and just find out that he has some superpowers. [REJECTED]. I could make him acquire his new powers after an animal’s bite but then I might end up writing Spiderman’s story. [REJECTED]. I could make him acquire his powers after an explosion at a factory. If want him alive, he has not to be near the area of the explosion but as close as possible. Hmm, despite the fact that the explosion thing is quite well used by many writers and producers, the whole idea contains conflict, and it is surely better than the previous two. However, I would like something more unusual so… [REJECTED]. We understand that what we have to do is thinking of an uncommon concept that consist conflict too. So for my novel I wondered… What if an inner change starts to my main hero. An inheritance? No, too common. What if something is happening with his brain? We use only the 10%, some say the 5%. What if we manage to use more? I started researching about brain abilities. (I still do as it is a wonderful topic!) So the brain. But the inner change has no conflict at all. How can I create some? Our brain takes great impact from our dreams. What if Neville starts seeing nightmares, extraordinarily strange nightmares! You can certainly achieve creating conflict by nightmares! So that is how my Main Hero acquires his powers!
I bolted the “What if” because as you saw, plays a great role in plotting your story. I believe that you can plot your story only with two questions: What if & How as I did above.
We solved how our Main Hero acquired his powers. Now we have to solve how is he dealing with acquiring them.
Remember! We have to solve it in an uncommon way that it will create conflict.
What would you think if you were noticing strange things to happen?
“Yes! I have super powers!”? Well, probably not except if you were a very young child. And here is where your character’s age matters. For my novel where Neville is 17 years old, something like that is not possible. Honestly? What should I think?
“Am I being crazy? These things cannot happen in real!” That might be an exaggeration but…
Neville had another brother who got insane too few years ago? Now he has serious reason, or at least fear, for thinking that he is crazy!
You saw once again how crucial it was the “what if” question! I have created a video lesson for how to make an astonishing beginning in a story, where I explain in more detail the “what if” question. You might want to go and check it here
In a similar way, you have to continue about the below thoughts.
• How does he realize his powers?
• How are his powers affecting his relationships?
• How are his powers affecting his main passion? (read about it here)
• How are his powers changing him?
• Do his powers require a sacrifice?
And so on… You can think of as many as you can or believe that are enough.
Next you have to solve in the similar way about the scenery.
• What is the most-suitable season to be?
• What is the most-appropriate place to take place the story?
• What is the most-appropriate place to be each time?
• Is there any place that he cannot be because of his powers?
Now you have to plot the order of those solved problems. For example, it is useless to describe how is Neville dealing with having special powers and fearing for being insane like his brother if you describe first that he found out that he finally has special powers.
Always remember that you have to make an order, in order to create more conflict in the most-uncommon way! Just have in mind, however, that you have to give your reader some space to breath. That means that you have to put some short, maybe, parts between the conflict parts of your story, where your reader has a chance to take a breath and relax before the next conflict starts. We will talk in an another article about how to write such parts, so stay tuned and make sure to subscribe to our email list so as not to miss the next article!
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