Story Structures

I’m structuring a story in quite a different fashion than I normally do. Normally, I start with the basic ideas for each act of the story, a general idea of who the characters are, and what is going to happen to them in the larger scheme of things. For this new story, I did start with the basic ideas for each act of the story, BUT, instead of continuing to take notes and make plans and scheme, I decided to create a document within my Scrivener project for what I think each chapter will be. I’m titling them if a title comes as I’m drafting, but mostly I’m creating the new document and entering a few sentences about what I think that chapter will be about. Once I’ve created a new document for each chapter of the story, then I will go back and start writing the chapter.

I’m excited about this method for a few reasons. I have a tendency to get so lost in the planning that I get in my own way. Having a very, VERY rough outline for the entire story will remind me of the direction I was going when I came up with the story idea. The other thing I will do which is incredibly important to me right now is that it will give me a place to jump in and work when I feel like writing and working, but am having a tough time getting into with everything that’s going on. I need to be able to escape into my writing and want it to be where I go to find joy and work, but, it is exponentially harder to enter that space with some kind of energy at the end of the day. Having the foundation set for a story and having front-loaded some of the work should (I think and I hope) make it “easier” to get into the writing and work on the first draft of the story.

I do wonder how laying out a road map this way, in such a more solid state than I normally do, will affect how the story turns out. I think this will allow for the same kind of organic story-change that happens when I move from notes to draft stage of a story, but I wonder if it will limit it? Or direct it in too much of a writer-driven story than a character-driven story? I’m really curious to see how the process goes and eager to find out how this will work. I’m not sure how much I will work on the story this week.

Remember, it’s fun to try something new and it’s important to know when to take a break!

Happy Writing!

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