How to Plot Your Story: The Actual Plotting Part of this Series

Hey there!

 

I wrote out a draft post for this, and left it, even though it didn’t feel like it was… good enough. But eventually, I just decided that enough was enough, and I was only going to give you guys quality content.

So.

Here we are, with an entirely different kind of description of plotting, mostly based off of what I’ve learned from my current struggles with plotting! πŸ˜‚

If you missed the other posts in this series, you can check them out below! Click on the images, and each post will open up in a new tab.

And here’s the image for today’s post! (If you enjoy the post, and find it helpful, make sure to share it at the end! πŸ˜‰)

As a quick reminder for the last two posts (for those of you who’ve already read them and didn’t click on the above images), we took a look at the 15 parts of plot, and what they mean. Here’s what they are:

 

  1. Introduction
  2. Inciting Incident
  3. Some Rising Action
  4. Success!
  5. More Rising Action
  6. Slap #1
  7. More Rising Action
  8. Failure after Failure
  9. Sucess again!
  10. More Rising Action
  11. Slap #2
  12. No Hope
  13. Climax
  14. Falling Action
  15. Resolution

 

So how do we apply these to our story? How do we use them to take a small idea that we have and mold it into these 15 parts?

We are going to start by idea dumping.

If you have been around my blog for a long time, then this will sound familiar. The first post I did on the blog that was writing related was called Idea Dump.

Feel free to click on it and read my awful writing. (Or not. Please don’t. πŸ˜‚ I’m going over what it says in a much better version in this post anyway)

 

For those of you who weren’t here then, an idea dump is when you dump out your ideas – all of them – onto paper. A great way to do this is through a tree graph, which I attempted to do in the above post for The Storm Inside, and failed to make it an actual tree graph.

I found out that, for fictional writing, a tree graph actually isn’t really my jam. Maybe for non-fiction, but not fiction. So, instead, I just write it out on a lined sheet of paper. These can be long, rambly ideas sometimes, but usually, they’re more like long, rambly bullet points. πŸ˜‚ This helps me to separate out my thoughts, but still put them down.

Something you should do if you’re getting stuck with getting the ideas rolling is to ask questions! Ask yourself questions! Force yourself to answer them! Also ask practical questions, like how a character will do so-and-so thing, and that’ll get that ball rolling. You can ask more questions concerning the subject later, even. Be like me and separate each part by bullet pointing it.

Make sure that you do it on physical paper, by physically writing it! I explain why in the next step.

 

Once you have a lot of ideas down, you can feel free to call it a day and wait until tomorrow to continue plotting. (It takes a while to do this, after all) But by this point, you should be excited about your story, so feel free to carry on! 😜

It’s time to go back to the 15 parts. The way I do this is to just write down their titles (mentioned above!) on a scrap of paper, close the computer, and go to physical paper.

Hopefully, you did you idea dumping on physical paper as well. You have to take those papers and the ideas, and with new paper, start brainstorming a general order to the mayhem you’ve created. (It’s okay if it’s not mayhem; I know it wasn’t for me, but that might just be because I was replotting The Storm Inside) A great way to do this is by matching up the ideas to some the 15 parts.

I suggest putting down all possible candidates for each part. There may only be one for each, and that’s okay because that makes life easier for you. But if you think that the one idea you had there, and the other you had there might both make a great Slap #2, then put both down as Slap #2! Get the ideas down to a part.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some suggestions:

 

The first suggestion is to check out this other old post of mine!

The second is to just stay here because I’ll restate what is said in the post, except better. (Again, awfully written! πŸ˜‚)

 

Introduction

The introduction is a great place to start because it literally is the start of your story.

 

Inciting Incident

This place is great because you’ll know ‘when it all began’ or it’s ‘the point of no return’. 😜

 

Climax

You never go out for a drive before knowing the destination. The climax is what you shoot for! It’s what the reader and the character are living for. When you know what your climax is, you can quickly figure out what needs to happen before it to up the stakes, build the tension, and get the character to where they are by that point. It also makes it easier to know what happens after, so you’ll have The End destination in mind as well.

 

 

After figuring at least those three out, you’ll be able to match up the other 15 parts. If you had more than one potential idea for a part, pick which one you think will work the best with the rest of the plot. But if you truly, seriously love it to pieces and do not want to get rid of it, you can always move around the parts you’ve picked for the rest of the plot.

Above all, when plotting, remember: this is to give you a flexible guideline for an amazing book. This is not being made to box you in. If you want to change something, change something. You’re the writer. This is your book! πŸ˜ƒ

 

 

My Own Writerly Stuff

After that long post, if you’re up to it, I am going to share some snippets from my own idea dumping! πŸ˜ƒ

 

Would she and Amanda have meaningful conversations? No. She hates her, too. (Gina hates a lot of stuff…)

 

The humans will offer to help, but perfect they are, they refuse. (The humans will come anyway πŸ˜†)

 

Yes, I write emojis into my plotting. It’s to help me, not be perfect. 😜

 

New plot! (Yay me, I only just finished the new one too…)

 

Did I mention that after last week’s post I replotted The Storm Inside according to those 15 points, but then, after doing some rewriting, had some new ideas and am now changing it again? πŸ˜‚

 

Warning the elves, but them not listening. (proud, pompus idiots they are)

 

How can she even defeat the human army?? That’s a lot of snowballs…)

 

Crystals! Duh!

 

How can Amanda have the emotional turmoil and how will she still come back from it? Snide comments from Drake. Doubt planted by Gina. Not wanting to hurt anyone, yet having agreed to a job that backstabs that priority.

 

*twirls scepter like a baton*

 

I randomly referred to ‘other sheet’ and then, worried I would forget later which sheet that was, wrote ‘Other Sheet’ on top of the sheet I meant. πŸ˜‚

 

Then they fight. That should be composed mostly of Amanda running from her. πŸ˜†

 

Did you enjoy those snippets? πŸ˜ƒ I am planning on continuing to give you updates on my writing process on the blog, and some snippets, but have decided that, from now on, there’ll be exclusive snippets for those on my mailing list only. Click below and sign up! πŸ˜„

 

 

Temporary Cover!!

The amazing Mukta from Design Pique Studios has made me a cover for The Triad of Caosdif! (Click HERE and check her out!)

Doesn’t it look amazing?! 😍

 

Okay, that’s all from me for today!

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 9.56.49 AM

Did you like the final post in the series? (Make sure to share it! πŸ˜‰)

Did you enjoy the snippets?

Are you going to sign up to my mailing list? (Feel free to share the link with anyone you think would enjoy my blog! πŸ˜‰)

And what do you think of the AMAAAAAAZZZZZZING cover Mukta made for me?!

-Julia

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “How to Plot Your Story: The Actual Plotting Part of this Series

    1. Thank you, Liz! πŸ˜„ Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed them!
      Yessss! πŸ˜„ I love it! It’s making me excited to write The Triad of Caosdif again! You should totally try getting a cover from her. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  1. I’m really liking this new series you’re doing! Oh, and also… I LOVE THAT COVER!!! I think I might order one from Mukta, too!

    Like

    1. Sadly, that was the last post in it. But seeing as posts on plotting are so popular, I may have to do them again in a long time after I learn even more about the subject! πŸ˜ƒ SAME! You totally should! πŸ˜„ She’s awesome!

      Like

  2. This post was so helpful! I usually don’t outline really in depth, but now I will!
    Also, that cover is BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!! 😍

    Like

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