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January 4, 2013
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Something I've been wondering about for a while is the best way to develop a plot for a story you have. Some people have told me you should plan it out first from beginning to end, so you know exactly where it's going. Other people have told me just to have fun, make the whole thing up as you go and see where it takes you.

I usually stay in the middle. I plan out some of it but only a little, and then just sort of make up things as I write.

What I was wondering was, which do you think is more effective? Planning it all out, or just making it up?
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:iconchyna-angel-girl:
Chyna-Angel-Girl Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hah, sorry this reply is late

I think you should plan it out some, but I never plan it out too much.

I once read in a literature book, "No surprises for the writer, no surprises for the reader"
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:iconluinelle:
luinelle Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student Filmographer
I think it's better to plan out but having no plan can make for a very interesting story at times x)
For longer stories, I usually plan more haha. But for the one I'm writing, I barely planned at all and I think it turned out pretty well. I sorta plan while I write
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Tolstoy planned a blaming whore story and wrote a tragic classic. That was because he was an artist, a great one.
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:iconchibilovett:
ChibiLovett Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've always been the "wing it and see where it takes you" type, buuuuut that's often gotten me into a corner that I have no idea how to get out of without rewriting the whole damn thing. >.< So I've been trying to plan out at least the major plot points beforehand with anything I write now. It still gives you a good amount of room to make it up as you go, but you at least know it's going to get somewhere and that it will eventually end. =P
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:icongraveseller:
graveseller Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
thanking up a story always beging with the first chaptor. From there you branch out and see were your story takes you and were you want it to lead. But first you must write a draft, place your thoughts unedited to paper and when you are done you then make changes that you find suitable not only to you but the story as well.
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:iconsaints-fan-12:
saints-fan-12 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'd say both, mainly it just comes to me or i just as said in the forum I just make it up as i go.
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:iconthelittleone:
thelittleone Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't think it's necessary to plan out the whole thing, but you do need to have a good clear idea of the end. Otherwise you may go off on a tangent that renders the beginning you've worked so hard on useless. Know the ending and keep it in sight. :)
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Writer
Okay, got it. Thanks for the tip! ^^
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:iconjessaminediane:
JessamineDiane Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
When I was younger I got a Jacqueline Wilson My First Novel kit, they were good kits and I've had a few of them throughout my life while they still made them. One thing they came with was writing tips from Jacqueline Wilson. One of the tips was not to plan your story out too much as that's 'boring' and it's 'fun to surprise yourself as you write'. I remembered this tip so one day I decided to write a 'proper novel' inside a notebook I had (I'd used the notebook that came with the kit for a different story that wasn't really planned either but I'm not using it as the example because at the time I didn't think these stories were stories I thought they were films) and I didn't plan at all. I came up with the main characters' names and that the girl telling the story is naughty and that the girls had all been best friends once but then one of the girls moved away and the story was about them getting reunited, and that's it. Sure, I surprised myself as I wrote and I had fun writing, but I have fun writing AND planning my Lydia and Dynamite stories and the novel I came up with just writing willy nilly was shit and is shit to this day. Because I had fun writing it I'm going to go back, edit it, plan it and do the story justice.

In answer to your question I think planning is important and you should always plan your story, but you don't have to dot every i and cross every t so to speak. Plan, but don't over-plan and don't under-plan either and don't be afraid of going back and changing things later on.

I doubt that made much sense but I hope it helps.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Writer
No, that made plenty sense. ^^

I have fun planning, but sometimes I get a little sick of it, you know what I mean?
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:iconultimamage578:
UltimaMage578 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Here is the answer: Whatever fits you, or the story best.

I know some writers who are in the middle, other prefer to plan it all out, and others just let it run on its own, and others change it with the story.

Whatever fits you or the story best.

I tend to have a general outline (usually beginning, ending, middle) and everything else is just made up on the way,
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:iconystilwolf:
ystilWolf Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013   General Artist
wait you need to think about a plot before hand? fuck
maybe that's why i'm getting nowhere with that fic omg help me
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:iconararian:
Ararian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I personally write without panning then i go back and read it changing what i dont like dam 24 chapter book atm not even done ugh taking me forever but i dont brainstorm or nothing i just write what comes to mind so in the moment u feel into the story like ur there. Hope it helps ^^
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh alright. ^^ Thanks! :D
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:iconararian:
Ararian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:}
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:iconamayaells:
AmayaElls Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Try both and see what works for you. Planning doesn't tend to work for me (though I am giving it another go) But I don't go into a book without anything. I tend to plan the characters, the beginning and the antagonist, so I know a bit about my characters and can write them well from the start and give them enough to learn about the enemy, give them a direction. As I go I will usually have the next couple of chapters in mind, so I know where I am heading. I also tend to pay attention to my own writing closely as I will sometimes put in sentences which foreshadow later events and must make sure those are acted upon.

Personally when I do plan out I have trouble finding the motivation to write more than anything else, I want to discover what happens as I write, if I know the ending it takes that joy of discovery away. People have tried to tell me this isn't so, that there is still discovery, but their reality doesn't effect my head.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh okay, I see what you mean. :) I never liked planning the story much, but I found it was easier to do that. Otherwise I'd just ramble on about nothing, and it would get really boring.

Ah, sometimes I tend to forget to do things I'd foreshadowed, so I really need to work on that.

But thanks for this, it helped. ^^
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:iconamayaells:
AmayaElls Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Basically you can try my way, maybe taking notes while you are writing to keep track of plot points you discover. But I really advise trying various methods, and retrying them, everyone's mind works best organising things in different ways and different projects may require different approaches. For example, though I just told you my preferred method I am actually working now on a novel I have planned, seeing if I can manage it.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh okay, alright. ^^ Thanks for the advice!
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:iconcrystalclearly86:
CrystalClearly86 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I have no problem planning for a short story, but anything long and I kind of loose interest in it after awhile because I lose sight of where it is going and how I am going to get it there. It is also hard to write anything long when you work 12 hrs a day.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Yeah, me too. ^^ I usually don't really plan short stories, but when I plan a long story I kinda get bored. :)

Ah, I imagine it would be. ^^
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's why you have to plan: so you don't lose sight of where it's going and how you get there.
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:iconcrystalclearly86:
CrystalClearly86 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
That's why I would be better as a short story writer. I'm not sure I could think that far ahead. Also is seems like anything I could come up with has already been done.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
To be sure. I doubt I'm capable of sustaining a novel-length story myself. But that last is true for everyone. The trick is to come up with your own personal fresh approach.
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:iconcrystalclearly86:
CrystalClearly86 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I wrote a short story once and found out it was way too similar to another in a book of short science fiction stories I found afterwards.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You must plan. A story might take a twist or a turn somewhere along the road, but if you don't know when you begin how your story will end and at least the broad outlines of how you will get there from the beginning, you haven't done enough work.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh okay, thanks. ^^ I've never been much good at planning, but I'll go back and have another go. Thanks for commenting, it really helped! :D
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:icondj0hybrid:
DJ0Hybrid Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
From my experience, it depends on how important the plot is. If it simply gets the characters from Point A to Point B, then just knowing the different points and coming up with the stuff in between is fine. Like "The Hobbit": start an adventure with hesitation, get ring for future stories, go home from adventure, the end. Everything in between (like the Dwarves being captured by the Goblins or the dragon) just helps get the story to each point. But if you want your story to have multiple story arcs where each one works with others just perfectly that they end up adding to the ending to your story (i.e. Harry Potter especially for the final book,) then you do need to plan things out extensively with very little room to let the story make itself else deal with possible plot holes.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh okay, I see what you mean. ^^ I guess I've never been one to plan things out very much, but I should probably go back and give it a go. Thanks for this, it really helped! :D
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The Ring wasn't gotten for future stories. Tolkien had not intended a sequel. When pressed for one, the Ring was the only obvious "link". And there are those who would point to The Hobbit's rambling plot as one of its flaws. Of course, since it was designed to be read to children a chapter at a time, a certain rambling quality is to be expected. It isn't supposed to hold together like a book written to entertain grownups.
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:icondj0hybrid:
DJ0Hybrid Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Then you will have to pardon me as I thought he had plans for the trilogy. Even then with the issue of rambling, everything that happened could almost be cut out or replaced with just about anything else as it just needed to be some adventure into new places that happens after the beginning of the story and leads to the end.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"The Hobbit" was intended to be, and reads like, a children's story. The only reason it get any attention from adults is that its sequel turned out to be something entirely different; there was naturally increased interest in the "prequel". And yes, you're right about the role of each episode. There's a general arc of Bilbo becoming gradually more competent, reliable, and respected by the dwarves, but as you say, that could have occurred across any given set of adventures.
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:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I plan, but if things start going in a different direction than the plan I don't hesitate to go with it.

If I don't plan at all though my stories end up horribly confusing with loose ends everywhere and end up taking twice as long to write because I have to go back and fix everything.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh I see. :) I tend to do that to, but sometimes I make everything so complicated that I don't know how to resolve it. ^^;

Oh me too! I end up rambling about nothing for ages, and then it gets really boring.
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:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I try and keep things relatively simple. I have an awesome app called "A Novel Idea" which helped me finally finish plotting out my novel and fill in the big middle chunk that I had no idea what to do with. The app lets me create scenes/chapters and attach different characters and locations to each scene as well as a tension level of 1-10 so I can make sure the plot builds the way it needs to. It's a great app and it's helped me figure out plotting a lot better. I used to over-complicate my plots with to much detail which made it hard to write, but I'm much better at keeping things simple and easy to work with now.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Oh, that app sounds really helpful!

Yeah, I have the same problem. I make the plots too complicated and then I never know how to resolve anything or how to end it. I keep thinking: "If it's too simple people will find it boring." I guess I gotta just try and keep it simple rather than trying to think up these complicated plots. ^^
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:iconkatara-alchemist:
Katara-Alchemist Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
That app is my baby. I adore it.

:nod: You've just gotta find the right balance.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
I'll have to check it out. ^^

Yeah, I suppose you're right.
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:iconpunjabattack:
punjabAttack Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Myself, I often plan everything out ahead of time. But, I don't really want to recommend that, because more often than not when I just wing it I get a lot more positive feedback. Additionally, when I write out a story, I often end up changing its direction one or two times throughout the actual writing.

I think its important to do a little of both. I've had stories die because I got halfway through and couldn't figure out where I wanted it to go. And, I've lost interest in stories because it felt too stiff and it wasn't fun to write after I plotted out every minute detail.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Yeah, I know what you mean. Usually when I plan too much I get bored of the story, but if I plan too little then I end up going off an a ramble and things get confusing. ^^;
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:iconbornwolfgirl:
BornWolfgirl Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I Think for me the best is knowing how it ends. Half the fun is discovering how and why it happen. Especially if your the sort who characters seem to talk to them. For some of my stories I'm merely along for the ride and witnessing it as it happens so for me the end is as much of a mystery to me as to the reader till I'm done.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Okay, that makes sense. I need to work on that though, I never seem to work out the ending and then I kind of just lose interest after a while.
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:iconbornwolfgirl:
BornWolfgirl Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Also try to create spacific events that may or may not be apart of the story. Make it as real to you as if it is. Everynight before I go to be I first go to the other world and witness something new for my charatures. It helps you get to know your charatures better if you know details like their morning routine or who piss them off on their 11th birthday. Build their life and you build their story.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Okay, thanks for the advice! ^^
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
If you can make a great plot without planning, go you.

If not, you need to plan.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Okay, got it, thanks. :)
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:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
I get general outlines and once that is established I fill in the holes. Most of the time though, I will re-do many parts and exchange them for better ones because I feel it aids the story. It is kind of just having a base and then trying to find bricks that work for the building.
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
Okay, I see what you mean. ^^ Thanks!
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:icontristancody:
TristanCody Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Writer
My pleasure. :handshake:
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:iconsilvertidalwave:
SilverTidalWave Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student Writer
:hug:
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