Planning Your Novel Notes & Pictures

If you missed Janice Hardy’s workshop on plotting here are a few highlights that kept us all writing furiously even though she shared handouts.

       Steps to Remember when developing a new story

Step 1: Write down your idea in one or two sentences

Step 2: Find the problem — the reason the novel exists

Step 3: Find the Stakes —  why the reader should care

Step 4: Find the Protagonist — who the story is about

Step 5: Find the Antagonist — who or what gets in the way, the obstacles to overcome

Step 6: Write your Summary Line — the core concept of the novel

Step 7: Find the Motivating Factors — what motivates the protagonist to act

Step 8: Find the Big Moments, from the opening scene to the major turning points

Step 9: Brainstorm twists and turns and possible exciting, tension filled moments

Step 10: Summarize & flesh out the novel as much as necessary to begin writing

For more on Janice’s techniques, check out her book: Planning Your Novel, there’s one at the Northeast Spruill Oaks Library.

Your can also visit her website Fiction University where she posts writing tips and articles from other authors.

Other recommend books include the standby for all writers -- Elements of Style, plus Jack Bickhan’s Scene and Structure, and Fiction First Aid.                                              © Stephanie Moody 2011