#DailyWings: “Do not be concerned that you lack an official position, but rather concern yourself with the means by which you might become established. Do not be concerned that no one has heard of you, but rather strive to become a person worthy of being known.” -Confucius, Analects 4.14
I’m not big on the realms of religion and philosophy, but we’re studying Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy in one of my summer classes and I came across today’s #DailyWings quote in the Confucius section. During my ROW80 and JuNoWriMo journey so far, I have noticed something. The less I write, the more self-conscious I become and the less focused I am on my work. But the more I write while “in the zone,” the less concerned I am with the prospects of publication, fame and other ridiculous things. Instead, I write for writing’s sake, for portraying the truth genuinely as life portrays it every day for us. I care more about the story and about the characters than anything else at that moment.
I think that’s definitely something I would like to strive for as a writer. It doesn’t matter if I become nationally acclaimed for our bestselling, ground-breaking novel. Well, okay, maybe it does – a little. But what’s more important is that I work hard to get to that point. In the end, all we want to do is write the best darn novel we possibly can. Yet, as we approach the midway point of JuNoWriMo, let’s focus on actually getting the writing done before we focus on quality and bestseller lists, shall we?&
As promised, I have replicated the templates that I used for The T-Project, my current writing project, and have provided them below. The actual outlines are scribbled in my Moleskine notebook and very messy (who’s isn’t?), so I thought I’d recreate them – except using a different story plot.
*Everyone knows the line, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Each project has its own process – with a beginning and an end. For Page 1, start out with a vision of where you want your project to be at when it’s completed. The “moon and stars” keep you motivated. Working out themes help you decide what you want your project to be about on a grander scale.
One of my ROW80 goals is to write character-driven scenes. This is a mini version of the giant relationship bubbles that should focus on Main Character (MC). Readers are with your MC 99 percent of the time, and the people she meets all play a role in her story. This is the time to grind out those roles.
Everyone is different when it comes to outlining scenes. I’ve tried story maps, bubble maps, Excel charts, and nothing works better for me than this simple list. All scenes orbit around the conflict for this particular story, and so I broke down my outline into pre-conflict scenes and post-conflict scenes. Why? Pre-conflict scenes lead us up to the conflict, whereas post-conflict scenes derive from the effects that the conflict had on the characters. I also list the most significant scenes and, below them, the mini scenes that correspond.
And here are almost all the events in timeline form! The conflict and climax are starred because they’re super important (duh), and in between major scenes of the story I add a couple of the mini (but still significant!) scenes. Add time points if desired.
This was just a rough sketch of what these templates would look like filled using a basic story plot. What do you think? What sort of outline tools do you use when planning out your story?
*You may use these templates for your own story planning, but please provide credit if you are going to share on your blogs!
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