Last year I finished up with all the things I do before actually drafting. This year, we’ll begin with what I like to call “Storymapping”!
If you’ve following along, you should now have;
When I have all of these mostly to completely done, it’s time to go back and fix that Storymap. Fix things first, you need to reorder your mixed up dot points. Ask yourself where in the story that event or scene would make the most impact and where it feels the most natural. It’s okay to leave gigantic spaces between each dot point, places to be filled in later.
Most of mine end up something like this at the beginning:
-MC goes to visit person.
(big white space…)
-they travel to place…
-Ending! (Obviously I’ll detail things I know I want to happen.)
In other words, my Storymap starts off very vague. And that’s okay. You want to leave room for organic growth in the plot area. Stuff that while you’re writing, it just clicks and suddenly you have to get all the words down before you forget!
When I’ve got a good solid page (blank spaces omitted), I let it all sit for a day or two and stew (or grow). This part is vital for me. If I rush into drafting, usually I’ll get stuck at the 30,000 word mark and have to rethink my original plot points.
After a day or two, I like to play around with a chapter outline for Chapter 1. This is where things get more detailed. I’ll grab a notebook and give myself an entire page to play around with. I dot point every detail and movement in that specific chapter. It usually looks something like this (Sorry about the blurriness these are my notes for Broken Sunrise and I don’t want to spoil anything):
Hahaha, hopefully you understood what I meant with all the blur… Basically the dot points flesh out my chapter more than the StoryMap and keep me on track. I don’t do this for every chapter straight away, I like to do it before I start each chapter, because things change as you write and little details need to weave through the entire manuscript, not just appear for one moment and disappear the next.
Next month, I’ll move on to characters and how to create an MC that feels real.
Thanks for reading! xx
**Disclaimer–what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. Every writer is different, and that’s okay, otherwise we’d all be telling the same boring story**