But that is a lie. I do have a plan. It may seem vague, but it works for me
I don't sit down to write until I know how the story should begin. I have an idea what the ending should be. So I create the characters to help me get to the end. But how do I keep the story from becoming random and rambling?
I work best using word goals. When I work on a novel, I set the word count for a minimum of 50,000 words. Now I break down the 50,000 words into five sections.
1 - 10,000 words: Introduction. I introduce all the characters, hint at the goal, and end with the first major set back.
10,000 - 20,000 words: The first set back, clarifies the goal. Reaction to the first set back. Set my characters down the path again. The second set back.
20,000 - 30,000 words: Throw as much as I can toward the characters. Introduce a red herring, if I want to. This is the part of the book, you should either make the reader question the goal, or make it stronger.
30,000 - 40,000 words. Set up and end with the beginning of the final conflict.
40,000 - 50,000 words: Final conflict, resolution, and dessert if you are so inclined.
|A graph that shows were I got the inspiration for my plotting method.|
These are guidelines only. My current WIP started with these same goals, but as I got close where I had planned to lay in the final conflict, I realized I need to add some more foreshadowing and smaller conflicts. It is now close to 80,000 and I am working on the last conflict.
While I am writing, I concentrate on the section I am working on. But I always have the final goal in mind. So my mind works like this.
I know A and E.
I write A to get to B, keeping E in mind.
I write B to get to C, still have E in mind.
I write C to get to D, E is closer for me as a writer, but I push it away from the characters.
I write D to get to E, E and the end
Can you understand my madness?
Because sometimes I don't.
Next time, I will talk about how to create characters on the fly. Thank you years of playing role playing games.