How long do you plot/plan a story before you start writing?

Just curious what other people do? :grin:

For my first story, I was a total pantser. Just had a couple of scenes I knew I wanted to include, and then started to write. Bit me in the butt, so for the one I am doing next, I will plan every episode and scene within before I start actually writing.

How do you go about writing?
How much do you plan before you write?
Also detailed is your outline? (if you work with one)

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I usually get story ideas when I’m in the car so I’ll just right down a bunch of dialogue on my notes app. I always start with dialogue and build my scenes from there. Personally, I play around with some backgrounds in the portal so i can get an idea where i want my characters to be and what they’ll be doing. I hope this makes sense. Then i start with creating characters and so on. If there’s a scene i don’t like ill get rid of it all together or ill save it and come back to it later

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My plan:
Get a story idea
Debate if it’s good enough story idea
Write down all the things you want to include (splashes, CC, choices, etc)
Start writing
Rewrite the same scene at least 10 times
Then finish the episode with things that don’t make any sense
Then continue with the next 2 episodes
Then get a writers block and stop writing for at least two weeks
Then give yourself a deadline and start stressing out that you won’t make it
And then publish the story you will rewrite at least 100 more times.
:joy::joy::joy:

But let me tell you this plan was working out only when I started understand the writing and how and what actually you need to put in a story.

So I got kind of a cheat sheet so I don’t get like a writer block.

One day I just wrote down all the main things that I want to happen in the story. Then shifted them into episodes and added some scenes that would help making more drama and let the reader be more inside the story. I planned all story all episodes and it really helps Me right now because when I really don’t feel like writing, I read through what I have planned and just write because I get like a sudden inspiration.

Now, when I read the next scene I have to write, I have a new ideas. I add more information, more choices, or dressing games.

To sum up, I suggest you plan at least some episodes ahead and plan them to detail so when you see them, you can kick writers block in the ass and just write. Just spend one day slowly, thinking about all assets, character, development, situations, drama, and write it all down. It will help you in the future a lot and you will be thankful to your past self that you have done this.

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I have a whole list of things I do before I start coding:

  1. Find a good (more specifically strong) story idea
  2. Figure out what side stories, ending, problems, and solutions I will be including in my stories
  3. Write a layout for each episode (basically what the beginning, middle, and end of the episode)
  4. Create my characters and outfits that I will be needing (including background and side characters)
  5. Once I know how many episodes I will have and what each episode will entail, I start coding. I usually do a rough draft, then go back and fix all mistakes and add scenes, music, sound, etc

This is how my brain works too! I just love getting the characters to talk to each other in my brain :see_no_evil: I just hit such a roadblock with my first story doing this, so I am forcing myself to go about it differently this time :crossed_fingers:

But I really love this type of writing too!

Do you work with a rough outline or no outline at all?

:joy: :joy: :joy:

yeah, this is what I am doing this time around. I am currently planning chapter 12 in my outline. Scene by scene. Hoping to get to a point where writer’s block isn’t a thing :smiley: I have been planning it for weeks though.

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This sounds really organized!
Do you write out all the dialogue before coding too?

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I guess I do use a pretty rough outline. My notes literally look like:

MC (talk agree)
I absolutely love that idea!

Friend: (talk hands on hips)
I knew you would.

MC
Well, you are a genius

and so on…

As for starting a chapter i usually just have them say random stuff (like above) Its hard to explain but i think of books ive read and study how they start :sweat_smile:

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Thank you haha I try. And no, at the moment I just go with the flow when it comes to dialogue:)

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My first story was years in the making since I was supposed to begin writing in 2020 to distract myself from lockdown but something came up and didn’t write what was already on my notebook on episode till now

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Only the truth! :wink:
And keep planning!
Even if it feels like it isn’t the most exciting part, it really helps a ton.

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Hmmm, kinda depends on how long the story is and what format I’m posting in / platform I’m posting on. Like I’ve posted “stories” that I’ve written in a couple hours due to inspiration. Another one I’m working on I just came up with the initial idea and started writing it out, despite knowing I have no idea how to continue it beyond that point lol.

And the other another one I’m working on, I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about historical events leading up to current day / world building. I have little to no idea how any of this will actually matter because so far the plan has three dates that are at least half a century from the “beginning” of the story. And some things need a lot more fleshing out as I progress the story and connect things from different historical events but it’s actually kinda fun. Until I plan the rest of my story and realize the dates are off and I have to rearrange the whole timeline—

Normal planning

Basically just a paragraph or two per scene. It might mention some specific imagery or feeling I want to include in the scene at some point — or specific lines of dialogue I thought up. Sometimes I’ll include character traits or ideas that I want to continue throughout the chapter. In text only format I probably write out 3-5 to make a full chapter.

Current planning

Future me is gonna have a field trip in a ravine with this one. I’m already questioning the time between events and I’ve only done one month of three mentioned years lol.

It also depends on the genre though, I’d like to have strong worldbuilding in fantasy/sci-fi. Mystery definitely needs a lot more time planning to make sure the mystery makes sense at the end and is presented in the best way possible. Romance/Drama seemingly don’t need as much planning for me because it relies more on a character’s interaction with other characters.

I’m a huge music lover so that’s how I get the “tone” inspo for a story scene but it’s not how I come up with the entire story. Usually it’s just a random thought(s) that morphs into a story idea or (How I got inspo for my first story) from a dream I had, which can get interesting bc my dreams make no sense usually and or I can also lucid dream if I don’t like where my brains movie is going lol.

I have a 2 notebooks that I’m writing in for ideas about my stories, One is for story ideas and I write down the details I have thought of for it right then, the other is for planning my current story. (character traits, plot points, branching points ect…) I’ll think about how not only my main character but also the side characters “stories” play out specifically.

I also have several scenes/moments that I know are going to be in my story but I cannot write them yet because they are so far out/ are turning points that I want to connect the best way possible.

Usually, when I have the next scene/ scenes in mind go right to the portal after picking backgrounds overlays and spot directing but the dialogue I will write out in the notebook to make sure it sounds correctly before putting it in that way I also know the animations I want to use with it.

I get spontaneous ideas so I usually have to wait around a bit before I get inspiration to keep going, I find that I get more creative when I wait rather than writing my story out completely. If I write my story out completely I will have spots that are kind of dull because I don’t exactly know what to put there yet.

(A lot of my planning is talking to myself :sweat_smile:)

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Hahaha i love “brains movie” i call it the dream network :rofl:

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I actually kind of got the term from a comedian that does a bit on explaining sleep to aliens.

Human: I eat the apple and I get the energy from that apple.

Alien: ok. Is that all?

Human: No, at night, regardless of how much energy I have consumed. I have to shut it down for like 8 hours sometimes 12.

Alien: do you just do nothing?..

Human: No, My brain plays movies that I’m in.
Sometimes they’re scary!

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