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Lisa
Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:30:26 PM
Lisa
Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,045
If you've written (or are currently writing) a novel, how much planning went into your story before you even started writing the first chapter? Did you map out the personalities of your characters and intricate details of the plot, or did you just have a rough idea which direction you wanted to head and go from there?

If you had a detailed plan, did you stick to it once you started writing, or did the characters develop minds of their own and change the way your novel developed?

Ashleigh
Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:05:15 PM
Ashleigh
Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 21
Personally, I planned the entire plot line of the novel down to detailed sketches of how each chapter would progress before I ever started. Given the themes and plot twists in my novel, I needed to be very specific with all the subtle details and foreshadowing. I couldn't bring out a major plot twist half-way through without having been consistent from the beginning. I also wanted to give readers every opportunity to notice certain things that would seem irrelevant during the first half of the story but that would take on great significance during the second half... so readers would have that "oh my god", or "aha" moment later on.

When I write, unless I have a plot line well mapped out (even with short stories), I find that my writing can tend to wander quite a bit. I need to know what my point of view is in the storytelling and how one moment will progress to another.

I do fairly detailed character sketches, but I give myself more flexibility with them as I write. A lot of plot progression will come from dialogue and character actions which can evolve as I go. I have found with the novel that I'm working on, that characters really did come to life, and as I filled the basic outlines of my characters, I found myself starting to grow more attached and/or fond of certain characters I had originally seen as more two-dimensional when I was originally sketching out the plot. It hasn't changed the development of the plot line, but I've given certain characters more "air-time" as I've come to enjoy writing them. Sadly, each character has a very specific fate (some fates worse than others... lol), and that will not change, regardless of how much I've come to enjoy them.



*** Click Here to Read Chapter One

Lisa
Posted: Sunday, October 31, 2010 3:56:53 PM
Lisa
Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,045
I admire your ability to plan and organise so well. When it comes to writing I get sidetracked too easily...or to be more accurate, I let myself get sidetracked too easily!



sprite
Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 12:30:33 AM
sprite
Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 83
Location: Wonderland
i honestly don't know what's going to happen in most of my stories. oh, i have an idea, and a start, but 9 times out of 10 the characters just sort of take over and guide it here or there and often to unexpected places. i wish i was a little more organized in plotting, but i think, to me, stories are like children. you do your best to push them along in the direction you think best of them while they do their best to follow their own desires. yeah, i know, i am strange....

Wonderland was an idea, one that i honestly didn't have an inkling to how it would end or even how it would get there and the ending in my head pretty much took me by surprise when it made it's appearence. i am, admittedly, VERY disorganized by nature. i envy Ashleigh's careful plotting but could certainly never do it - i need to write and making notes and plotting paths would frustrate me to no end, even if it meant a much better story.




The Nightmares Begin Here -
http://www.storiesspace.com/stories/horror/wonderland-lucys-tale-chapter-one.aspx
HoneyBee000
Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:51:15 AM
HoneyBee000
Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 94
Location: Venus, United Kingdom
I always admire the novels people write. I have only written short stories and at the moment the thought of planning and writing a novel sounds like planning a five course meal. Maybe next if I find a subject matter that will contain my interest and I thik I have enough to say, maybe then I will have a go.
Othello
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 12:34:23 PM
Othello
Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 19
I made a rough outline of the order of the main events in the main plots and the subplots - best of both worlds I've found.
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