Monday, 27 June 2011

Essential Secrets to Planning a Story

Tell Me A Story

So just what happens with a story outline, how do you use it?  A story outline is nothing miraculous, nothing to be suspicious of. A story outline is merely a scheme that helps steer your writing - a basis for your story - a route map.
  • Just like any map, a story outline makes the journey less painful. It assists in showing you where best to go, and improving the quality of the story by providing an overall understanding of its construction.
  • Underpinnings are essential to a building, and whether you like it or not, you are in the business of building - building a story. You might think you’re arty-farty, but remember, artists of all persuasions have to be craftsmen as well. Devote time and consideration to a plan and your story construction will be sound.
  • Foundations should be deep and strong before construction commences - your outline needs to be just the same.


The first thing you need do is to prepare a sequential order of events, and then plan out each chapter, allowing about half a page for each. Include the most important scenes and show how they influence your protagonists.

Preparing an order of events gives you an indication of how each character progresses due to actions they become caught up in. Characters should always develop, without character development the story won’t have moved.

Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  • Route maps don’t need to be prepared chronologically. You can prepare a later chapter before an earlier one.
  • You won’t write yourself into a corner when you’re finally typing out that precious story – you’ll understand where the story is heading.
  • All difficulties will already have been understood and sorted before you start writing.
  • The WORST plan is better than no plan at all. You will always know where you're heading.
  • The plan isn't set in concrete. It can be changed at any time - PROVIDING a new plan is then made.
Having recognized the problems as you make your outline, you’ll be well prepared to avoid them. When you get down to it, your actual writing will be smoother, faster and far more professional. You’ll be well on your way to being an author.