Friday, July 27, 2012

What I Learned This Week: Story Development

I recently discovered this blog: How To Plan, Write, and Develop Your Book by Mary Carroll Moore.

It's packed full of information and strategies for developing a story. It's like an entire writing course online. I recently watched her video about storyboarding and came away with some new ways of looking at the writing process.

I liked the way she described the purpose of the three-act structure as a way to give your book a shape that other people can understand.

And I also like her suggestion about brain-storming before beginning a new writing project. I usually start with a character or a problem that catches my interest and then I start sticking stuff to it and asking "what if" questions to expand on it.

But I'm intrigued by the idea of taking a bunch of elements that I'd love to see in a novel (or that I'd love to write about so I can learn more about them) and then trying to develop a structure around them. I might try this sometime as an experiment. I'm also going to look for the book A Writer's Time by Kenneth Atchity, which she mentioned in her video.

Have you ever sat down and thought about the specific things you'd like to put into your book before you begin? Or do elements of the novel appear as you're writing?


  1. I usually need to start with the major plot points of the 3 acts of the story. Then I go from there as I write and think about what other scenes I need to include and where they go as I write. At least that's what I'm doing now.

  2. Great link! Thank you.

    Characters wind themselves into my brain, they already live in a certain setting, and the conflict is there but develops as I write. The exact ending is fuzzy until about halfway through my first draft. So this method is very different (and interesting) than what I do now.

  3. Thanks for sharing this blog. :) Usually I don't really see what I what I want to do deeper until the first or even the second draft. Then I sometimes do an outline so I can see the entire storyline and go from there.

    P.S. Like your pic! :)

  4. Wow, we are on the same wavelength. I just found her blog, too!


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