Planning Techniques [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Scarecrow28
04-20-2008, 12:27
After the demise of countless short-lived literary works and the recent discovery of a destructive historical innacuracy in my novel, I decided that the best path to sucess and completion would be to thoroughly plan out my novel before actually beginning the writing process. This has turned out to be more time consuming than I previously thought but is a vital element to completing my novel.

I began by creating three seperate storage folders within my main "novel' folder on my computer, respectively labeled "Plot", "Characters", and "Novel". I have begun to lay out each chapter seperately within the "Plot" folder, which has become more difficult than I has assumed. I am currently about 1/2 done with this process. I listed the primary characters along with their backround and physical description within the characters folder, which I have found to be an entertaining task. Finally, the "Novel" catagory contains, or will contain, the actual written work when I begin it.

jtm62
04-20-2008, 13:35
After the demise of countless short-lived literary works and the recent discovery of a destructive historical innacuracy in my novel, I decided that the best path to sucess and completion would be to thoroughly plan out my novel before actually beginning the writing process. This has turned out to be more time consuming than I previously thought but is a vital element to completing my novel.

I began by creating three seperate storage folders within my main "novel' folder on my computer, respectively labeled "Plot", "Characters", and "Novel". I have begun to lay out each chapter seperately within the "Plot" folder, which has become more difficult than I has assumed. I am currently about 1/2 done with this process. I listed the primary characters along with their backround and physical description within the characters folder, which I have found to be an entertaining task. Finally, the "Novel" catagory contains, or will contain, the actual written work when I begin it.

I do the same... but not this this extent. I outline anything I plan to write that is longer than 10 pages and I also outline the characters for the story no matter how long. Good Idea!

Sgt. Rambo
04-20-2008, 16:21
Were you writing fiction Scarecrow? What ever you do, Don't quit!! Regroup yes but I also think with the three different folders you may have a hard time going from place to place to find what you did or wrote. I do long hand on a legal pad with characters and chapter comments. I find it easier than the computer. Just a thought, Keep at it my boy. You'll get it!!

After the demise of countless short-lived literary works and the recent discovery of a destructive historical innacuracy in my novel, I decided that the best path to sucess and completion would be to thoroughly plan out my novel before actually beginning the writing process. This has turned out to be more time consuming than I previously thought but is a vital element to completing my novel.

I began by creating three seperate storage folders within my main "novel' folder on my computer, respectively labeled "Plot", "Characters", and "Novel". I have begun to lay out each chapter seperately within the "Plot" folder, which has become more difficult than I has assumed. I am currently about 1/2 done with this process. I listed the primary characters along with their backround and physical description within the characters folder, which I have found to be an entertaining task. Finally, the "Novel" catagory contains, or will contain, the actual written work when I begin it.

Scarecrow28
04-21-2008, 14:17
Were you writing fiction Scarecrow? What ever you do, Don't quit!! Regroup yes but I also think with the three different folders you may have a hard time going from place to place to find what you did or wrote. I do long hand on a legal pad with characters and chapter comments. I find it easier than the computer. Just a thought, Keep at it my boy. You'll get it!!
Yeah, its fiction. I'm trying to break away from the computer habit and become more accustomed to using paper, but I'm more accustomed to it.

I won't be quiting this story, though. I've had this general storyline in my head since last summer and have been dedicating at least 1/2 of my life towards working on it seriously since December. There is NO way remotely possible I'm going to cast aside all the work I've put into this. I'm going to keep at it until I finish, no matter how long it takes. :supergrin:

trover
05-18-2008, 00:50
Take a look at PowerWriter, a software program for writers. I used it with my second novel, and found it extremely beneficial. When I finished my novel, I just saved it as Rich Text, then opened it in Word. Some minor reformatting, but nothing to complain about. I cannot imagine a more helpful program. I understand it's compatible with Power Structure, another writer's program, which I own but haven't used. The main reason I haven't used PowerStructure is that PowerWriter is so good, I don't need the extra functionality that PowerStructure provides.

Take a tour. http://www.write-brain.com/power_writer_main.htm

This is not a commercial. I have nothing to do with Write-brain, except as a user of some of their products. But I found PowerWriter just an incredible organizational tool, efficient as hell. I'll be using it for my third novel.

Scarecrow28
05-18-2008, 11:35
Intersting product. I might try out the demo later on today. As of now, I've got the story fleshed out quiet well and it has undergone a series of large changes in its layout. It has proven to be extremely effective way to make sure I carry through with it. In the past, the problem I encountered quiet frequently was that I didn't like were the plot was leading or I encountered considerable historical innacuries. With meticulous planning, I've managed to prevent these.

danial
05-29-2008, 18:41
Hello Folks, I have been looking at this section a few times and figured that it is about time I jumped into writing my novel. I have read that some of you have already published your work or in the process of writing your first novel so, this is the best place for me to pick some hits on the writing process. You guys really help support each other in the writing process and that helps everyone keep going and not give up. I have started my novel only by writing a brief description of what the novel is about. I have the main character and part of the plot. I have a book titled "You Can Write A Novel" James V. Smith Jr. It is helping but it is confusing in some places. I am trying to deciede wheather to write an outline first or just start by brain storming on paper and then write the outline and plot. In short I am trying to find a process I am comfortable with. This is pretty much what I am building it with " 3 Act Structure" http://www.musik-therapie.at/PederHill/Structure&Plot.htm. It looks like I will make an outline for each act and maybe an seperate outline for each of the plot points. Starting for me is always the hardest part. I know what the novel is to be, I just need a process to put it in writing is a intertaining and logical sequence. Once I get started I will be good to go all the way. I know that the outline will change along the way as I build the story, so I am prepaired for that fact already. Any comments and suggestions is most welcome. Has anyone taken any online writing classes that have been useful?

Sgt. Rambo
05-31-2008, 05:53
My suggestion is for you to dive in until you can't go any further or hit the block we all do. Then figure out if you want to outline or however you wish to do it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or your work. Write it and enjoy it and see where it goes. I personally hate being stuck to an outline as I like to develop my characters and see where they want to go. I'll send you a PM as well. All the best with it.

Scarecrow28
05-31-2008, 09:09
Plan it out to avoid discrepancies (?) in the plot and encountering other problems in the future. You can just provide a rough outline of your character like Rambo suggested, but I've been working with my primary protagonist for over five years, so I've already got him flesh out entirely.

danial
05-31-2008, 12:52
Thanks Sgt. Rambo and Scarecrow28 for the information. I have a very active imagination so I get way to much information when I write that I tend to go off into tangents. So I need a structure to keep me on track without impeding my creativity. I also don't want to lose all of that creative energy by making an outline that is too rigid. I think my biggest problem right now is that I have never written anything this big and I am not sure of the structure of the novel that I am writing. I will find out thru trial and error like most writers. I am writing fiction by the way. Thanks again. Daniel

Scarecrow28
05-31-2008, 19:23
I'm having similar difficulty. Stress and the rigid control imposed by the outline have inflicted my creative abilities and induced an irratating case of writers block. I am a perfectionist, especially when it comes to my writing, and find myself constantly analyzing every sentence to the point were I cannot accept anything I find. It is incredibly aggravating, especially considering I am only writing the prologue. I am praying that my creativity will be replenished soon, or I may just go insane. :supergrin:

USDefender
06-21-2008, 08:40
I had to quit 'planning, researching, and outlining', my novel and just start. I found that I would use 'planning' as a reason why I 'just wasn't ready to begin, yet...'

That has cost me years, literally, because something always came up as a great reason why I 'just couldn't start, yet'.

Now, though, I have & I'm excited to report that my story is comming to me...if not quickly, at least at a mediocre pace.

Either way, it's humming along.

Scarecrow28
06-21-2008, 11:08
I'm beginning to lean more towards this approach. I've felt like the rigid control imposed by the highly detailed planning may be a source of my writers block. I'm revising a short portion of the story and decided just to write a relatively short (2-5 page) outline of the entire novel with as little detail as possible and just follow that.