Monday, September 5, 2011
10 Stages of Story Development
2. World-building. Sometimes the idea will start with the world first. If I fall in love with the setting/world then I will pursue it further and set up the history, the politics, the ‘rules’. Even if these details don’t make it into the story, they are important to think about. The world will often dictate what kind of story it wants to tell.
3. Character development. I start thinking about the characters and give them names, appearances, traits and desires. Sometimes the characters will come before the world, depending on where the idea starts.
4. Character arc. For me the main element that drives my stories is character so I think about the character arc early on. This is where the plot begins to develop.
5. Outline. This is where I work out a beginning, middle and end. I used to just wing it, but I found I had to do a lot of rewrites to get it right. Outlining reduces those rewrites and it helps me to see the big picture before I get caught up in the specifics.
6. First draft. This is the mad frenzy of pushing out the story onto the page. I usually set myself a goal of 7000 words per week if I’m being kind to myself, or 10 000 words per week if I want to push myself. I prefer to push myself, because my best writing happens when I don’t have the time to over think everything.
7. Break. This is where a break is essential. It’s a good time to start expanding on other ideas or to write a few short stories.
8. The read through. Also essential. I think it’s important to read through your novel from beginning to end many times over the course of development.
9. Editing. This is when I allow myself to slow down and take the time to get the wording right. I look at pacing, motivations, sentence structure, chapter length etc.
10. Critique partners. I’ll send out my manuscript to trusted critique partners and friends. Then I repeat stages 7-10 until I’m happy with the story.
How do you develop your story ideas?
Thanks to Suze at Girl Wizard for tagging me where we were supposed to tell 10 things about ourselves, but I adjusted the rules. I’m such a rebel.
Also thanks to L. G. Smith for the 7x7 Link Award. Again, being the rebel, I have linked back to her blog, Bards and Prophets, and ask that you visit and say hi from me.