Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - A Story Plan Check List Part 1 #MFRWauthor

When I was reading Karen Wiesner's From First Draft to Finished Novel and came upon this part, I nodded. When I first began writing I used a version of a story plan. Perhaps a different one than what she uses but the idea is the same. She calls hers a check list, mine was a plan. Different words for a similar plan. So let's look at what is involved.

Title - I must have a title before I can begin the story. Doesn't mean that will be the ending title. Thiw can change as the story grows or the title can be changed by a publisher. I remember a story I called Carpe Noctum for the entire time. The hero's name was Knight and this was a romance for older women. The publisher changed it. These days it doesn't happen often and now when I publish old stories I can change the titles back.

Genre or genres - That's the next thing I need to decide. Each type of story has a beat. A suspense story needs to have that beat of urgency beneath the prose. A fantasy, science fiction, mystery or romance has a special flow to the language. In these days of mixing genres, it's important to know if you're writing a romance with a touch of mystery or a mystery with a touch of romance.

Length - This is always an estimate and is something to shoot for. A novella has a different pace than a short story or a novel. I try to do this when writing. Doesn't always work but I try.

There's also POV who will be telling the story. Sometimes you can choose first person or third person are the most common. But how many heads are you going to enter when writing the story. And remember no matter how many you choose, you must remain true and if you're in Mary's head what she sees and observes if important but she can't read minds. She can read body language and make inferences.

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