Things to do before starting a new story


#1

I’m not necessarily asking for advice or trying to give advice here. But I thought it could be helpful to have a resource where we share things to plan before starting to write a new story (and maybe some outside resources we use while we’re at it). Feel free to add on anything you do that I don’t.

  • Plotting a basic outline.

  • Plotting a chapter by chapter play of events.

  • Character profiles

  • Character relationship chart

  • Filling out a world-building chart (in the cast of fantasy/sci-fi type genres)

  • (Episode specific) Working out any point systems/gains and how to implement them when branching in the story.

This site has some good worksheets for plotting a story.

Anyone else have different things they plan, or resources they use when plotting something new? Please share, because I’d love to steal from you and see if it improves my own writing experience :joy:


#2

Thank you for your topic and the link would be very useful for me tho :heart:


#3

I use my iPhone notes to jot down notes on how I want my story to end, start, what I want my story to include, etc :blue_heart:. iPhone notes are extremely helpful . :hugs:
-hope this helps anyone.


#4

Also, if you have an idea when writing MAKE SURE YOU JOT IT DOWN BEFORE YOU FORGET IT! :slightly_smiling_face:


#5

^ ME. ME ALL THE TIME.
Whenever I have an epiphany about something, I just expect myself to remember it when I come to writing the scene… but nope, Half the time that doesn’t hold true. So I’ve just starting jotting down everything in my notebook now.


#6


Glad it’s helpful. Here’s another link that has links to all sorts of other helpful writing resources! :slight_smile:


#7

At least have some idea on how you like it to end most stories just rush the ending with no thought. Also with characters what motives them their wants needs fears and weaknesses so many charcters on episode doesn’t have this basic character devolpment.


#8

How do you organize character profiles? Just curious because I don’t know how to organize mine.


#9

I would build a simple table on a word processor, and then for each character I’d answer the following:

Age/Birthday
Height/Weight
Ethnicity
Eye/Hair color
Other physical traits
Fashion sense/style
Personality type
Goals
Values
Hobbies
Fav movies/books/music/tv shows/colors
Sense of humor
Education/job experience
Friends
Family
Rivals/enemies
Childhood
Fears
Strengths
Weaknesses

Here’s an example if you want to see:


#10

Also, on the topic of character values, I learned about them on advancedfictionwriting.com
Basically, it’s your characters core values - so important to them that if you asked them why they’re important, they couldn’t answer you with anything other than, “They just are.”

It’s important to have at least two of them, because at some point in the story, these values can be pitted against one another, and the character will be forced to choose between them. This is what makes an interesting character, because if they only have one core value, then their actions become predictable and the character ends up flat and boring, not to mention the plot of the story.


#11

Planning is honestly my favorite part of the writing process, so I love this thread.
Since I use custom assets, I also like to write out a list of backgrounds and overlays I know I’ll need beforehand based on the episode outlines I make. That way I can find/make everything and get them uploaded and approved before I even finish writing the first three episodes.


#12

Oh, this is clever! I never thought to do this before.
I’ve started planning my stories more in-depth recently, but I never thought about planning backgrounds and overlays. That’s a great tip, I knew I’d benefit from starting this topic. :joy:


#13

This is an amazing character profile! You’re really thorough, what website did you use to make the character profile? Also, what template or way do you organize your entire story? Can you show me some examples? Thank you @Caitoriri!


#14

Sure! I use the snowflake method to plan my stories, which was developed by an author called Randy Ingermanson (I highly recommend his book, “How to write a novel using the snowflake method” which I got the e-book of from Amazon for like, $5).
But here’s the free article on his website: https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

The character profile above was just a simple table I made in Microsoft Word, and you can really add or remove anything you want to fill out about a character. I recommend googling “character development worksheet” and checking a few results and compiling a list of questions you’d like to answer.

As for the examples, I’ll hop in your DMs with them so I don’t clog up the thread!