Friday, April 27, 2012

Putting it to paper.

      There are many ways a person can write a story.  There is no proper way or way that it has to be done.  Writing just more or less happens.
      I've found that the style I use best is the form in which you map it out first, find out where I'm going with the story before writing too much.  I started out with the 'write by the seat of your pants' style.  I couldn't figure out how I wanted to start my book so I started somewhere in the middle and just kept writing.
It wasn't until I took History of Theater in college that I figured out that I could start my book in the middle of the story.  The professor shared that when you watch a play you are witnessing a snippet of the character's whole story.  What he meant was that you weren't watching the character's entire life ie: birth, childhood, adolescence, and so forth.  So what you are seeing is the portion of the character's life pertinent to story of the play.
      Once I learned that, I decided that I would use what I've written as the beginning of my book.  From there I realized that I wasn't sure where I wanted the story to go.  Some writers are okay with that and it's fine.  My writer's blocks tend to deal with me not writing because I don't know what is going to happen in my story.
So my method is the story boarding style.  I have several white boards that I map the whole plot line of my book out on.  These plot points are not set in stone and I have changed them as I've gotten feedback and found out some plot points are weak or irrelevant to the story or characters.  You just can't set it in stone.  That will limit you too much, especially if your story takes a turn you hadn't anticipated earlier (which happens quite often).
      When I actual go to write, I pick a plot point that I feel like I can tease out into a scene.  It might be a large scene that is several pages in length or it could end up being only half a page just so I get the plot element into the story.  Once I'm done writing it down and typing it up, I go back to my white board and update the point with a little more elaboration so that when I go back to look at the board later I can remember easier how I expanded it.
      I am very visual with my planning.  I've drawn maps of the areas my characters have gone so that I can describe them better in the book.  When creating a new world it helps to remember where all your landmarks are in relation to each other.  Or while writing the second book of my series, I realized that I had a hard time remembering where certain characters were in their own story lines, relative to each other.  So I took one of my white boards and drew out a timeline for each character.  One time line above the other so that when I plotted the points of the timeline for each character, the points then showed, in more readily available format, where each character was.
     I'm not saying this is the best way to write a story, and I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone.  This is the way I set it up though and it keeps me on track.  That being said, I'm always curious about other writer's methods and ways I can try differently to keep the creativity flowing.

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