Layout & Plot planning

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Layout & Plot planning

How do you plan out the plot and do your layouts?

Planner or Seat of the pants?

Do you plan out the plot or do you start writing without?

Planning by the seat of my pants

I couldn't resist that one. I've done both, and generally I'm a planner; an Ingermanson, rather than a King. But to be fair, I haven't tried anything beyond a short piece without a plan.

No planning at all, that comes later for me

I don't like to know what comes next. Plus I find it limiting. Sky's the limits! I just write whatever pops into my head. And when I get bored or a character isn't lifting his/her weight I throw something cruel or unusual at him or her. Or kill them off entirely.

Later, on in the second/third draft it's time to delete and add depending on what direction I think is more interesting and workable.


That sounds like my type of writing :)

Seat of my pants.

With my short stories, I never plan. I just do. I learned that when I write something longer than 3 pages, I need a plan; a very detailed plan. This goes for creative writing and all school papers. If a paper is less that 1,000 words, I wing it and wait to the last minute.

I'll decide what to have for dinner after I start eating it!

So you lot don't plan eh? By those remarks I take it you have no outline, no plot, no characters and no research notes because you have no idea what you are going to write. Sorry guys, but unless you have at the very least an outline your story is going to take a long time to write. You will get a little way along the 'plot as I go along' path before you think of something spectacular and then it's all change. And when you change, well then you have to go back over everything to make sure of continuity etc. Writing is a very creative art and by its very nature it allows the writer to explore every facet of life and raw imagination. However, even we artists have to have a few basic rules to follow. Synopsis - the idea. Outline - rough plot - later, scene by scene (more detail). Characters - describe them. Locations - describe them. On every aspect of the story - research. All of this before you start to write.
We are, for the most part, impatient to start. We race ahead and spend twice the time when not properly prepared, than we do when the story is laid out before us.
Don't give in to flights of fancy. Your story is unique to you and your imagination. Make sure you give yourself every chance at being published instead of ending on the shelf or with the great crowd of thousands on Your better than that.

When I start a story, I have

When I start a story, I have rather detailed outlines for the plot and each chapter, any lingering inspiration is collected on a Pinterest board, and any research necessary is either done when I write the chapter or when I edit it later. Everything else tends to stick in my head. 

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