Friday, September 30, 2011

Story Events - Plots

I've been having trouble with Chapter 8, fortunately only partly due to writer's block.  I've realized that there are some holes in my novel because I wasn't making one of the characters important enough who I had written into it as being important.  I'd also been forgetting several of the plot points that were also important to the story (hence why I was having a block when I thought it was too thin a story).  So now what I'm doing is going back and doing an "event map".  Normally the characters in my stories run away with them but as I have started holding the DM position I've realized how I like to write is a very similar thing.  I like to plan the stories that I DM for people by creating events that can happen when they reach a particular place.  Some events will happen when they get there and you know they're going to get there because you've set the premise or the story up that way.  Now the nice thing is the when or the particular order doesn't always matter unless it sets off a more important event later.  So I'm taking the same premise with my writing.  I'm going to do an "event map" instead of a plotline or outline for my novel.

 Basically that means I'm going to write out all the possible plots and subplots, attach which characters are going to be needed in each one so I know where they cross over and who's important for each segment and then I'm going to write major events in each plot-line that needs to happen and which characters NEED to be involved.  I've decided not to write a true outline this time, though I've been doing a synopsis for each chapter and that's been helpful.  I suspect that doing it this way instead of as a definite outline I'll be able to keep more flexible.  What do you guys do to plan your story?  There's lots of comment space!


  1. Personally I'm horrid at planning and writing complete stories on my own. However I think that what you are doing is an great plan. As a reader (and writer) I think the event map will prove to make a better novel. Instead of being a predictable path the charachters trundle along hitting 'event markers' at a specific planned time, yours will flow and the events will happen more naturally. I hope this helped?

  2. What do you do to plan your stories? You don't mention it, you just say you're terrible at it!

  3. plan? i write down lots of the story line, events and things i want to happen on a piece of paper.. and then I try and write lol

  4. So you do a rough outline then kind of forget about it? Lol, the first time I wrote this story that's kinda of what I did. Of course I had about forty copies of that outline as it changed but... oh well.

  5. I just did a grand chapter outline, with 2-3 sentences per chapter.

    For whatever reason I just didn't really struggle with "who is where when" while planning out this book. That could be because I'm keeping the plot arc relatively simple (book 2 and 3 are gonna be a nightmare though).

    I definitely keep it flexible though. There are a number of plot things I've altered as I've developed the book, and I'm still adding in lots of details and meat to the story.