So I finished my last WIP (work in progress). It’s out on submission searching for the perfect agent. 🙂 Now, it’s time for me to forward and begin a new manuscript.
I both love starting a new project and dread it. I love the idea of tackling something fresh. But at the same time, when world building, I need a few days to let the new story germinate in my mind enough to start typing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a plotter.
But I need the following things before I begin to write a story:
1. The hero defined. It can be a loose definition but I need to know his goals, motivations, and his internal and external conflicts.
2. The heroine defined the same way.
3. A thread of the basic plot line.
4. A scene that simply won’t leave me alone. Often, this scene is no where near the beginning of the book. It’s usually about half-way through.
5. Some idea of how the story will end.
From there, I start building my world. It used to take me longer to find my five key elements but not anymore. Since I joined RWA, I’ve taken workshops that have helped me get to the soul of my characters and their stories faster.
One of the best workshops I’ve ever attended was Michael Hague’s Six Stage Plot Structure. One sheet of paper allows me to quickly jot down notes about key turning points and the six stages of my story. Fabulous! 🙂
What do you do to prepare yourself for your next story? Is there a workshop or craft book that turned your love of writing into a writerly life?