It’s daunting, especially when your manuscript is half-written
No capacity to outline subplots
When I first came across Blake Synder’s Beat Sheet (BS2), I was half-way through the manuscript for Hero and the word count for each beat made me to blanch. The idea of trying to shoehorn my (at that point in time) pantsed story into all of those little boxes (opening image, catalyst, black moment) with their prescribed word counts, was more than my brain could take, but when I went back to the BS2, a new story in mind, they appeared as godsends. Continue reading →
Patricia C. Wrede’s Fantasy World-building questions are great, and the World-building Leviathan is equally awesome, but there are times when they just don’t hit the spot. Like, when you’re halfway (or more) into your novel and you need to sort out what a battle mage can do that an illusionist can’t.
Sure, you can jot down a few notes and whack them into a notebook, but if, like me, you can’t stand the thought of not being organised, something a little more structured is in order.
Normally, I’d turn to Scrivener, but, until the iPad version comes out, it doesn’t work so well on-the-go. Yes, you can sync your files to an external folder and edit them on the iPad (which works great for writing), but whatever file structure you’ve created in Scrivener is lost, and when I’m world-building I need folders, and not just any folders, but nested folders and lots of them.
And so, I set out to make myself a template in which I could make random notes, while still being organised, and that I could use just as easily from my laptop as my iPad. Continue reading →
Created by Kitty Chandler at KittySpace, the World-building Leviathan is a great method of world-building while developing your plot. The best thing is, it’s non-genre-specific so you can use it without feeling restricted by your chosen genre. Continue reading →
The Snowflake method is the brainchild of Randy Ingermanson. Freely available online, it’s one of the first methods/writing processes that I started playing around with. It’s great for plotters, although pantsers might like to give it a pass, since it’s heavy on the planning. There’s also no world-building to speak of, but there’s nothing to stop you slotting in something like the 30 Days of World-building Exercises to suit your needs. Continue reading →
A while ago, I found this writer’s notebook for Scrivener. I prefer to keep my story ideas in separate files, so I haven’t used it yet, but it looks pretty bloody awesome. I particularly like the Writing Helps & Tips section at the top, which includes such goodies as Dan Wells 7-point plot system, “11 tips to increase your productivity” and “How to make stories Rock”.
Unfortunately, the website where I originally found the file is no longer available, but don’t fear, I’ve uploaded it here so that you too can share in the awesomeness.
I might have previously mentioned that I love templates, and you might ask why. I love them because they make world-building easier, not in a ‘this is how things must be done’ way, but in a ‘here’s some questions to get you started’ way.
Sometimes, when I’m in the thick of creating a story, or the world it’s going to be set in, I have an idea for a something (generally a plant, animal, person or thing). This something often plays an important role in my developing plot (or world), and while I may know a few details, such as its name and function, the nitty-gritty can elude me. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I was at the half-way point of my first draft and having trouble with my plot. After ten months of steadily pounding away at the keyboard and chipping at the word count, I was increasing asking myself “what the $#*! happens now?” Although I knew what was going to happen at the end of my story, I didn’t know: