I’ve always wondered what process other writers go through before creating a new story, or if they go through a process. I know my best friend draws up a vision of her characters when creating a story and that’s her own personal style as an artist. So it makes me wonder if we all have our own personal styles as writers when it comes to planning a story…
These are tools that I usually find helpful before I craft my story:
1. Character Profiles: I don’t know why I love these so much but something about putting your character down on a page just makes them seem that much more real. I always use the main character as a starting point: the person to shape my story around.
2. Story outlines or summaries: I’m not the biggest fan of these (I find them too technical and restrictive, and I like to believe there’s a free spirit floating around somewhere in me) but these do help to give me a general idea of where my story is headed.
3. Notebooks: I must have at least three notebooks that I use solely for jotting down writing ideas that hit me randomly at night or during my commute. I find these incredibly helpful (except when I lose them around the house). They help me remember my ideas and I use these ideas as inspiration when I’m stumped.
4. Favourite pictures: If I’m writing a story set in a medieval time period, I want to visualize it somehow. Finding a picture of The Lady of Shalott gives me a sense of the mood and feeling of that time, even if this picture was painted by a Pre-Raphaelite in the 19th century.
5.A Novel Idea: This is an Apple app that you can get for free on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. You’ll get more if you pay and upgrade, but I’m content with the free one which allows you to organize your notes by ideas, stories, characters, etc. The great part is that you can also link ideas to your story, keeping them nice and neat.
I hoped some of these helped you like they’ve helped me. How do you build your story? What tools do you find helpful? Do you plan at all or are you more of a spontaneous writer?
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