The first full-length children’s story I wrote was, to be honest, a total disaster. My plot was obvious and uninspiring, my characters were clichés and two-dimensional and the setting was underdeveloped and poorly thought out.This was the response from a literary agent that I had approached.
At this point I realised that I wasn’t a writer who could create, order and write from what was in my head. I needed a plan.
Over the next two years, I worked on these areas, read a lot about writing, attended writing courses and eventually developed something that works for me.
These are some of the habits, techniques and processes I use to turn my ideas into the best story I can write.
Ideas = Notebooks
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams
One liner = Essence of the story
‘A short creature with hairy feet is roped into an adventure by a mischievous wizard.’ – The Hobbit
Character, Setting & Plot – the 3 cornerstones of a story
“I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write.” – J. K. Rowling
Much against my desire to dive in and start writing, it’s only when I’ve done these things and have a clear plan that I pick up a pen.
The last story I wrote took half the time of previous one and required far less editing time. The simple reason is that I planned better, took my time and worked out most of the problems before writing a word.
I will revisit my first disaster of a story at some point but with a different outlook and a plan. Who knows how much better this story will be?
Get in touch here if you’d like copies of my planning tools.
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