I actually don’t know which subcategory this should go in! Bad Shanos! So I will link the @ForumStaff
But anyway, I thought I would give you all some details on my massive, elaborate planning process!
It has developed and evolved over the years to become what it is now. I like it as it is because I am someone who thinks in a really disorganised manner and I need a little bit of structure to make sure that I don’t leave out important details. Plus, I’ve been having some issues with my memory since the depression and so this is a great way to ensure that I don’t forget any of the details!
There are some links on here to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Lay Out My Fabula Storytelling Cards: I take a particularly large part of my wall at home and grab some blu tack. They work best when they are stuck up on the wall somehow! Plus, this means that I can move details around as and when I want to, which is awesome. Every story has a slightly different structure and the Fabula Cards should be used as a guide rather than a rigid set of rules.
Create Cards For My Characters and Locations: My next step is to make similar playing cards for my characters. For this, I bought a set of blank playing cards that I could use for my characters. Personally, I chose to use sharpies on them so that I will always have a copy of the name of the characters. I got a colourful set for myself so that I could make sure that the main characters, secondary characters, love interests, etc could be seen straight away! I wrote their full name on the back with their role in the story and then on the front, I just wrote the name that I refer to them by most in the story. These can then be blu-tacked to the wall and used in the same way as the Fabula Storytelling Cards. If you’re someone who doesn’t feel like having their character names permanently on the cards, try getting some glossy playing cards instead and using whiteboard markers on them so that you can rub the work out at the end of your planning sesion. Make sure to use multiple colours, though!
Write Important Details Down: If you are already aware of things that will be happening in your story, get yourself a pack of sticky notes. These can be moved around easily, so they are a great choice!
Fill Out the Fabula Deck: All of the questions it asks? Fill out the deck! Answer all of the questions for all of the sections that you are going to be using in your story! Do it for as many characters as you’d like! Use different coloured sticky notes for different characters if you’re like me and you need to visual prompt! Then, take a picture of the whole plan and make sure that you can read it all in the picture.
Plan Chapter By Chapter by Chapter: This is where your playing cards will come in handy. You see, I sort people out by location to start with. If Evanna is at the Palace at the start of the story, I put her there! Then, if she moves, I can make note of that on a sticky note so that I know where she starts and ends each chapter and how she got there. This is super important and useful as it stops a lot of plot holes. Because you are aware of where everyone was at the start of your chapter, you’re not going to have people jumping to random locations at random times when it seems like they shouldn’t be able to get there. Group your characters by location and then add the sticky notes around them to show what they do and how they act. Then, take a picture of each chapter at least once. I recommend doing a chapter-start picture and a chapter-end picture so that you can show where characters move to.
Write it All Down on Notebook.Ai: This is my final step. Once I have got all of my pictures, I take the time to write down all of these notes on notebook.ai. Not only does this mean I always have a place to come back to, but it also means that I have consolidated the knowledge so it is harder to forget.
I know. It’s long and intense! However, it is super helpful to visualise your whole story in this way! I highly recommend!
@Writers how do you plan your stories?