As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’m in the earliest stages of my new work-in-progress, which I’ll discuss in more depth with my check-in update soon. Prior to very recently, I would’ve considered myself more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of writer (a “pantser,” to use the term). However, I discovered when writing my play script that I can get infinitely more accomplished with careful pre-planning, so I have set aside a great amount of time to do nothing but build my world and characters.
I decided I was going to do this ‘right,’ but that’s such a subjective term. Still, I researched suggestions and tips for starting off a novel and have combined them into what works for me. I’ve been storyboarding on Scrivener, creating a general outline for my plot. I’ve discovered three major points in my novel that have become the ending points for each of the parts, so I’ve been filling out what happens along the way to create a tentative roadmap. I’ve been creating my characters and working on their dynamic to make them three-dimensional. Most importantly, I’ve been working through the tremendous backstory that has to go into a post-apocalyptic novel like this one.
Safe to say, I’m now officially a planner!
One of the things I’ve found incredibly interesting has been the use of worksheets and questionnaires to help me through the process. I realize that these may not be as useful to others as they are to me, but I’ve found it a great way of helping to flesh out my ideas.
In my search for worksheets to help myself plan, I found a great resource here. At that link (sponsored by Writer’s Digest), you’ll find:
- A story tracker
- A story idea map
- A scene card layout
- An at-a-glance outline
- A character sketch
- A worksheet for character-revealing scenes
- A map for the climax
- Questions for closing and denouement
- A reversal brainstorm worksheet
If you’re a pantser-turned-plotter like I am, you’ll probably be able to get some use out of some of these! I know I certainly have. Through this process, I’ve learned that there’s tremendous merit to planning ahead of time. I feel like I will be able to complete my project most effectively once I know where I want to go with it.
If you have any other resources to share, please do so!