19 October 2013

How to Pre-Plot a Series

You start a novel while building in your imagination and on paper an imaginary world based on myth. The characters are believable. The action incredible. You worry about your character arc and about how to integrate the important imaginary world backstory details.

Character Profile for yourself as a writer (and perhaps/likely yourself)
Strength: dramatic action
Weakness (real or simply perceived by you): character emotional development
Flaw: Prefers being in your head imagining and building the exotic world over writing
Goal: Write beyond the middle of the middle

You work out the character emotional development block, identifying and developing what is already there in your story.

To resolve the issue of how much important imaginary world backstory to include and how:
On a Plot Planner, divide the number of books you envision in the series by the 4 parts of a story.

For ease, say you plan for 4 books. One book then represents The Beginning (1/4), one the 1st 1/2 of the Middle (1/4), one the 2nd 1/2 of the Middle (1/4) and one for the End (1/4).

Evaluate this line-up for the thematic and archetypal elements of the Universal Story supporting the entire series.

Decide on the resolution of the overall series -- how you envision the entire series ending. There is no right or wrong choice. For now, just throw out an answer.

Book 4 becomes the climax that brings about that ultimate resolution

Book 3 represents the crisis of the overall story plot

Book 2 becomes a deepening of the exotic world (substitute with magical for your particular needs)

Book 1 serves as the introduction to the overall series, while, of course, also having a unique and thematically tied story plot of its own.

Understanding the overall arc of the series, helps you better determine how much and how little of the magical world building and backstory reveal is necessary in Book 1. Best rule of thumb: only as much as the reader needs to know to inform that particular scene and successfully read forward curious and confident.

Take the PLOTWRIMO Pre-Challenge:

You have 1 Month, 1 week and 4 days to get a draft written in time for PlotWriMo. Beginning December 1st, follow the exercises on the Plot Whisperer blog to re"vision" and redefine the plot arc of your story. PlotWriMo is custom designed to ensure your success even during the busiest time of the year.
Begin 2014 ready for a powerful rewrite.
The following resources support you in your pre-challenge:
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of
The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories

2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
named BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS by Poets&Writers. The author provides insight on how to create works of fiction with powerful stories and focuses on how to devise a Universal Plot, plot lines and subplots, compelling scenes, and character transformation.
3) Refer to The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing
for writing prompts for scene #1 to the very The End, one prompt at a time.

4) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

5) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For more tips about how to use plot and the Universal Story in your novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Plot Whisperer on Pinterest 

***** Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot reinforces daily writing practice and allows for more productivity in your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts in The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.

Today, I write.