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Chapter planning

Finished the chapter and now jumping into a new tactic of making a skeleton for each scene/sequel. Let's see if this enhances my writing!

I’m following my latest screenplay outline. I wrote β€œshit gets real”. Page 10... shit just got real.

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An Easy Outlining Method for Writers Who Don't Enjoy Planning by Rayanne Robison β€” Well-Storied. via

Write from an outline or else. (I am having way too much fun with these.) h/t ⁦⁩ seminar for

Talk to the outline, bitches. Another mug shot from my seminar for today.

Oh, I just happened to write this outline.... H/t ⁦⁩ for this Lucille Ball-ish capture in ⁦⁩ seminar!

Ready to Finish That Screenplay? Get 20% off The Development Template Series and write it in 90 days or less. Checkout Code: TDS20 Link in bio.

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anonymous asked:

I’m so afraid I’ll never be able to write a book because I can’t never come up with a plot. It’s always just scenes or characters or a setting, never the actual story. It drives me nuts and I don’t know what to do.

This is one of those things that requires practice. Additionally, it’s something that takes time (and not just because it takes practice). Finding the right narrative arc of a story is a completely different kind of creativity than putting prose on paper and like any other creative activity it requires a lot of experimentation, trial and error, and (most importantly) patience. It can take me six months to find the right shape of a plot, six months of moving scenes around and trying different story paths and different character arcs until I have an outline I feel good about. So this would be my first suggestion: before you start getting too deeply invested in individual narrative moments or set dressing, take some time to outline, and don’t rush yourself. You can’t force inspiration. You can encourage it, but you can’t force it. You’ll find a lot of advice about how to plot/outline here and here.

mack9duracell  asked:

Hey there!!! I love this blog. Wondering if you had any tips for “middle of the book” writing? (More specifically a script, but I write prose too, so). Like, I know exactly who my characters are and everything about them, I have a gorgeous beginning and an amazing climax that’s very powerful and,,,,climactic? But it’s very hard me to think the audience will get anything out of it, because I don’t think I’ve developed the characters enough TO THEM (IE: stuff in the middle). Any helping thoughts?

Hi! Thank you for your question.

In short: you raise the stakes. If you made it hard for your characters in the beginning, make it even harder.

If you’re a planner or a plantser, these posts might help you: How I turned an idea into an outline (about brainstorming for your storyline), and How I never have to face an empty page when I write (about brainstorming for a scene, but it works for storylines as well)

If you’re a pantser, the rule of three can help you. The characters want something. Let them try to get it and fail two times, before reaching it on the third attempt. If they get it the first time, there’s no plot, no conflict. If they get it the second time, the success might have been a fluke. But if they fail two times, you confirm that it’s hard to succeed and the success gets more weight. Try to tie the storylines of the characters to each other’s for a richer story.

I hope this is helpful! (Sorry for the late answer.) I wish you happy writing!

Why post-its are an author’s best friend

Every author knows the power of their notebook, but do they know the power of post-it notes? 

Carrying a notebook around you is fine and at most times doesn’t inconvenience the user, but what happens when you suddenly think of an idea, but it might be weird a weird time or place to grab out your notebook? Post-it notes! They’re small and can it right into your jean pocket. 

I used to ride the bus home every day and it was a place I came up with many chapter ideas, but I couldn’t very well put out my whole notebook on the bus so I would take out my post-its and jot down my ideas across several pieces of paper. When I got home, I would stick them right into my notebook and tape them down to avoid losing them (I was too lazy to copy down the idea from the post it). This is how I outlined my whole first book.

These also come in handy when you’re out to dinner or lunch and come up with an idea. 

MOD Irene

Outlining is fun

And apparently the only thing I want to do. (I wish my handwriting/art skills were better, but I love my new notebook.)

The good news is, I have the “tables” organized up until S5! The bad news is, Schuyler’s character has for the first time become an “issue” in the second half of S4. You know, when everything goes to hell.

I had a mini crisis, actually, when writing plans for S4. I tried to involve her too much and almost made her out to be the villain in the end. Anyway, I pulled it back and I’m working on putting her into the plot in a more organic way. And until I get there in the chronological order (& decide if I’m going to stick it out with canon storylines) I know where everyone (physically) stands at the beginning of S5. *Spoilers* ~

To say I’m excited would be an understatement! Good things are happening!


  • Finished reading old TMQ draft and made a big-picture plan.
  • Outlined a bit of the finer details for the beginning
  • Started the rewrite and wrote about 4 pages
  • Prepped some more for my upcoming d&d campaign woo

Very productive day I’d say and now I’m gonna pass out lol

soft bitch hours
  • so we now have canon that says that roman remembers how to spell his name with a pneumonic/acrostic (Really Obviously Muscular And Nice)
  • i bet you fucking money that he has one for each of the other sides 
  • and on the anniversary of their different name reveal days, he gives them a wooden engraving with their acrostic on it
  • logan thanks roman and then asks about what wood and varnish he used
  • patton cries and hugs it to his chest before lamenting that he didn’t make a gift for roman and promptly starts making wood puns. logan hates them but they’re all feeling really soft, so he lets them slide
  • and virgil?
  • virgil is speechless
  • he slowly traces his fingers over the adjectives that roman uses to describe him, barely able to believe that this is how roman sees him.
  • Valued. Intelligent. Redeemed. Giving. Included. Loyal.
  • he scrubs at his eyes with his hoodie sleeve and smiles 
  • he hangs it up next to his nightmare before christmas posters and it’s not because he wants his most valuable posessions all in one place
  • not at all.

So after doing some thinking last night/today, I’m putting chill fantasy on a semi-hold or I suppose it’s something I’ll work on when I need a break. It was always meant to be a chill project (hence the name) that i can come back to when needed.

But, I’m going back to working on an old wip that I worked on off and on last year. Technically, its first draft isn’t complete, but I’m calling the new draft “draft 2” for the sake of organization. I’m working on a plan of attack for it now. I still need to read through all of it and take notes and then do a more cohesive outline of the plot and then I’ll start the rewrite/draft 2.

So, even tho I wrote a novel back in like fuckin… 2017 I have been SO STUCK on re-drafting it ‘cause honestly every time I try and outline an original story, I have so many issues. I have no idea why I can outline fanfiction fine but original fiction just. Kicks me in the butt. 

However, I’ve been analyzing how I write and what sort of style I use to plot. And, by NaNo definitions, I am neither a pure plotter or pantster, but a mixture of both. Which can be good and bad mattering on what I am doing. 

I took a deep look into the manuscripts I’ve been writing. I mainly have 2–one complete and the second halfway complete. However, the first I need to completely rewrite and the second draft I stopped halfway since I realize I already started going off outline and need to redraft it… again. 

And that’s when I had my first realization; that I put too many details in my outline. I don’t always look at my outline while I write. Usually, I look at the main ideas of my outline and write the scene from there, figuring out the setting and dialogue and everything else while I sit and write, which is def a panster trait. However, I need to have the purpose of the scene planned out before I write it or I get too rambly and get too distracted from the plot and stuck. I found my previous outlines really messy for the most part due to this issue.

Another issue is my poor organizational skills. I am… a horrible organizer. Completely awful really. I keep a lot in my brain and on paper don’t always write everything down. And when I do it’s out of order and messy to boot. 

My original outline format was to write down a two sentence plot summary for whatever I am writing (which I still do; it’s useful tbh) and then start drafting what should happen in the beginning, middle, and end, then connect them all together. From there, I write out the entire plot and then write it a second time breaking it into chapters. And I always did that all by hand.

It worked okay for my fanfiction but original story wise it was? Horrible. I think it’s because my fanfictions tend to be simpler and have shorter plots and not be so long. I have no idea. 

So I decided to stop doing all that work and started doing the sticky-note method so I could arrange plot details around and add them in and take them out quickly. It actually helped a lot! I did that on my second manuscript and it’s first draft is a LOT better than my first novel’s first draft. However, I was still having a lot of problems… and didn’t know how to fix it. 

I dunno where or how I stumbled upon this, but I found out a different way to track ideas altogether called “mindmapping” I think it’s sometimes called the “subway method” too (or at least that method is really similar) where you start at points and connect everything together using a infograph of sorts. It’s similar to the sticky-note method except this way, you use arrows and can group and connect large chunks of the plot at a time and at-a-glance see where new subplots begin, end, affect the main plot, merge, and stuff of that sort. 

I’ve been stuck on the new outline for my first novel for over a year now. I finished the thing in 2017 and it is now 2019 and I have made almost no progress on it. But I decided to open up a mindmap, grab my notes, glance over them and start connecting shit together, and also utilize ANOTHER new tool called the “fichtean curve” method for writing that I found and WOW 

I have done more substantial work in two hours than I have in OVER A YEAR 

It’s too early to say if this method is the one for me… I haven’t actually gotten into the rewrite process yet, after all. However. However. I am feeling so much better and these tools I have found have been so helpful for me I cannot believe it. 

And, for the first time in a very long time, I am actually excited about outlining. 

Sometimes, it may just be trying again and again until you eventually find a method that works for you…

and there, I suppose in the future I’ll end up refining it to suit my needs perfectly. 

It’s interesting as not many people talk about struggling with outlining with they do and I also think it’s important to remember every writer has a different way they outline, just as every writer has a different writing style. I doubt two people will have the exact same process and routine and that makes things difficult for sure… but knowing that, it at least helps me not get so stressed out about not outlining the “correct way” since there is no correct way. And that’s just yet another great thing about writing. 

anonymous asked:

For the writing ask: 6, 9, 16 and 19 :)

Thanks for the questions! :D 
(list here)

6. Do you outline or not?

In part I do and in part I don’t. The thing is: I daydream a lot. I daydream as I’m walking, as I’m cleaning, as I’m doing anything that doesn’t require too much concentration, basically. And most of this daydreaming is planning fics, haha. By the time I get to write a fic, I have the major plotline done. Usually, it’s not written, though – it’s all in my head. 

But, I generally work with a quite loose outline. I know the general plot, but, aside from some parts, the details and single scenes will come to me as I write. I found out that focusing too much on details before writing makes me get stuck, while if I start writing, the solution will come to me at the right time.

The only story of mine that actually has a written outline is Chrysalis – and even then, I didn’t write it down until after chapter 16 and it’s just a couple of lines for each chapter because there are a few plotlines converging and I wanted to figure out exactly when to put each main event. Like, this was the ‘outline’ for chapter 17:

As you can see, it’s more a reminder of some elements I need to include. The single scenes are up to me when I write.

9. Do you write characters based off of real people or make them up?

I generally just make up characters (when talking about OCs, clearly), but part of them (even a single detail) might be inspired to somebody I know, at times. Some details that I add to canon characters might also be inspired to real people, if I find them fitting. 

An exception is Alyssa in Chrysalis, who is heavily inspired to two people I had the misfortune to meet in high school – and has a name very similar to a third person I was quite angry at when the moment to chose her name came, haha. 😅

16. What do you do with your rough drafts once you write a new draft?

I keep it in my laptop, in a different folder dedicated to all the drafts if the fic is quite long, or in the same folder as the other chapter (but with the name ‘draft’) if the fic is shorter. It’s kind of ridiculous, but for a better understanding, this how my folder for Chrysalis is:

Only the first subfolder has the chapters as they get posted, the rest is all drafts, deleted scenes, outlines or backstory. I couldn’t even bring myself to delete the first draft in Italian. 😅

In general, I keep everything – in spite of changing PC several times, I still have even stuff I wrote when I was 8 and my sister and I got our first (shared) PC, haha.

19. Do you write from beginning to end, or jump around in your story?

Beginning to end. I’ve always done that, and I cannot do otherwise – a scene I had imagined in a way might be altered (only in the details or even in major parts) because of how some earlier scenes took place, I would have to rewrite a lot of stuff if I didn’t go in chronological order.

ruikosakuragi  asked:

#4, 7, and 27 for the fanfic ask please :D ❀

Thanks for the ask, @ruikosakuragi !  Funny story.  I keep accidentally deleting my answers.  No joke, I’ve written this out about four times in various stages of completion.  Fifth time’s the charm, I hope.  🤞

4) What is your favourite genre to write for?

ROMANCE.  Fluffy romance.  Angsty romance.  Slowburn romance.  Comedic romance.  Smutty romance.  Medieval romance.  Modern AU romance.  Post-Apocalyptic Romance.

So sue me - and considering that I write fanfiction, the copyright holder definitely could - I’m an obsessive shipper.  When some people take in new media, they’re in it for the message or the story.  Me, I’m wondering which characters are going to get together or, better yet, which characters should have gotten together.  

What can I say?  I’m doing the hard, but necessary, work of writing about fictional characters kissing in my spare time.

7) When is your preferred time to write?

Once upon a time, this was an easy question to answer.  I’ve always done my best thinking at night.  Something about how silent and still the world gets.  But lately, I’ve gotten busy, and at the end of the day, I’m really unsure if the things I come up with are supremely clever or really dumb.  Seriously, without enough sleep, the line gets a lot blurrier than it should be.

Now, I write whenever I can, in the forgotten corners of my day that were previously wasted time.  I write while waiting in line.  I jot down ideas that come to me while cooking lunch and dinner.  Google docs is a Godsend for capturing inspiration.  It really does strike when you least expect it.  I think my writing is better for it.

27) Do you make a general outline for your stories or do you just go with the flow?

I do a combination of both.  I make a general outline, but it’s an outline in the most liberal sense of the word.  My outlines look like disorganized stage directions with random bits of exposition and/or dialogue crammed in there.  There are different tenses and weird little experimental musings.  Sometimes, I really don’t know if my ideas are good or bad until I get some distance, and if something doesn’t work, I’m not afraid to change direction so long as I stay true to my vision for the story.  Basically, it’s chaos, friend.

Send me a fanfiction writer ask!

Here’s Heihei again, I colored and outlined him today 😀 I am not very satisfied with the green parts, I should have erased more of my pencil lines there OR I should’ve just scanned it in on my pc and photoshopped it instead. Well.. maybe another drawing another time. I will definetly be doing my more serious stuff in photoshop. I’m hoping I get some spare time to learn shadowing and more drawing techniques. But school must always come first, since I’m paying for the education 😅

I’m really satisfied with the oranges in this one though 😍😄


Here’s a little look into how I edit/plan!

I’ve been editing my novel for a few years now, but I’ve gone about it in a way that is really un-useful and time consuming. I’ve recently found that a tool that works for me is Trello!

  • I can have a section for each Act of my book, and within that, each chapter. 
  • I go through each chapter like a spark note summary, that way I don’t forget important details or what a character was wearing etc and I add comments for my future self to help edit things in the future. 
  • I also note any literary devices I’m using so I can make an interesting chapter feel cohesive and complete
  • I keep track of my character’s appearance and development throughout the story which really really helps when trying to write the conclusion!! 

It’s been helping so so much, and I would highly recommend it to people who like to see everything in one big board, opposed to everything stored in a compressed folder. 

Happy writing! 


One session! Took it like a champ! Thanks David! 👑 Japanese dragon by Darren 👉🏻 @darrenthedude_tattoos #japanesetattoo #dragon #outlines #ryu #irezumi #instanyc #instatattoo (at Rising Dragon Tattoos NYC)

Made with Instagram

My outlining style has really been evolving over the last year or so. I adhered to the Save the Cat model for a long time. When I would try other models they didn’t work as well. But I rarely deviated from the Save the Cat outline and then dove straight into a list of scenes. I still like to start out with a very macro outline. Just the largest most important beats. Then I expand that outward. Then I copy and paste this entire outline below and start refining and expanding again. This time with possible dialogue ideas. Visuals. More and more detail. Taking things out, adding things in. Changing the order. All to figure out the best approach moving forward. Reaching a point where I feel I can proceed with the story.

When I’ve satisfied myself that I can move forward. At the moment the nagging doubts about some aspect that just isn’t working has been addressed and assuaged.  I start writing. Then I run into something. An issue. I consult the outline. Nothing there to address it.

Time to rework the outline. Taking into account this new issue. Find a way to address it to keep moving forward. Come up with a cool idea. Look to the outline. See where it can fit. Slot it in there. If you find it can’t be made to fit in the current outline, decide whether the idea is important enough to rework the outline again and potentially lose something you like in the process, figure out what that something you lose might be, think about a way you can keep both, decide which is more important and if it’s the new idea rework the outline again until it fits like it’s always been there. Keep writing. Rinse and repeat. I am in the process of a major outline rework on my latest project.

The project hinges on very deep POV, but the story is also a mystery and there are some things the POV character just can’t know. I’ve been playing with multiple POV’s and need to do the actual work of laying out how it’s going to work. And determine whether it is worth it to break it into multiple episodes for a mini-series rather than leaving it as a film.

So lot’s of cutting and pasting and puzzling for me.

So this has been my process for the last year that I have been working to refine over the last couple months. It has yielded some very interesting ideas. Not necessarily results, but ideas. The process might also just enable me to let every project balloon out into another huge idea rather than something beautiful and self contained but we’ll see. It’s definitely a work in progress. 

anonymous asked:

Can you outline a series all in one go??? Like bare bones general what I want to happen in this book/theme of it????? I'm sorry if its a ridiculous question but I always thought it was outline Book One work on Book One then when youre finished/almost finished with Book One you can outline Book Two and etc (I'm sorry if this isnt coherent its almost 2 in the morning and I'm tired) Thanks!!!

To each their own, really. Some writers can plan out an entire series, others have to focus on book one and then take a break. If you think you can accomplish all-in-one-go, give it a shot.