Monday, September 07, 2015

Writing a Story/Book Part II and Over 100 Posts!

I'm back...a bit late with the next part to my post on how to write a book or story.  Oh, and this will be my 101st post!  YAY!

Okay, remember in the last post, that somewhat irrelevant web I embedded?
Yup!  That's the one!
Well, in the previous post, the To DO's was your main story idea.  In this case, my spaghetti monster is in the middle, right?

That dude!
Heck, our spaghetti monster looks exactly like our web so if you look at its legs.  It's just like the main concepts of the story.

If you look at the top web, The Appointments, Shopping, Others...etc.  Those are main plot points that we wrote about last week.  They could be a chapter or two but in general for me, they are a chapter.

Let's review:   Story Idea
  1. Main character is a boy/girl
  2. they go to the store and buy groceries
  3. walking through hot items session of the store, the spaghetti bubbles
  4. inspects closer and see the noodles waggle and trying to communicate
  5. shocked and curious, they buy the spaghetti and takes it home
  6. spaghetti comes home and is left in the hot sun where it proceeds to melt and spread all over counter
  7. takes over counter -- > then home  -- > then houses on block
  8. main character feel responsible and looks for solution
  9. walking by a shop, there is a sign for food eating contest
  10. after contest, main character talks to contestants and convinces them that that was only the first round of the contest.  Next round is in a suburban neighborhood.  They'll know when they see it
  11. then stops by a homeless shelter and does the same thing
  12. Rallies all the eaters and they go to town on Spaghetti Monster
  13. They chow down and the city is saved and well fed
  14. Ending: All is right in the world again except for a stray meatball! (* Sequal idea )
So, you can guesstimate that this story will have 14 chapters or parts to it.  When I look at that list, I would think about combing the first few major points in the story, so 1-6 look promising for the first chapter or the first two chapters.  I feel that grouping those main points help guide me as far as starting and setting up a chapter.  Sometimes I combine the ideas to make a chapters.  The different colors indicate how I would group the ideas as chapters.  Now, our 14 chapter book just condensed into a 5 chapter story.

Granted, you may decide you want to change something as you write and that's fine!  When I write, I know ideas morph or new ideas get implanted (by the spaghetti monster) randomly but that's all part of the process.

Now you have the main outline of your story ready to go!

Well...sort of.  We're missing a few elements that help make a story:     SETTING!

Okay, not quite the setting I or the readers had in mind but NOW YOU KNOW!

Now, you have to consider a few other elements in order to make this chapter complete.  Who is your audience, what genre are you writing, what age bracket, tone, language, etc.  I don't spend a whole lot of time vacillating on all these things but it's in the back of my mind as I'm writing and changes as I go along.

...Nope, but getting warmer!

Some people actually do this part first but for me, it depends.  It depends because I have all these ideas for a story - maybe a few pages into writing what this story is about - when an idea comes to mind that changes the whole theme, tone and genre and your story just morphs or deviates from the original concept.  The key thing to making sure your story isn't all over the place is to reevaluate your Story Ideas List you made preiously.

All those elements help you determine your setting.  If I'm writing for YA and it's set in a suburb, I'd make sure my characters are in their teens, talk and act appropriately for the age and genre as well as think about where they are living and going.  Like here:

Like here!  A mall.  A bit stereotypical but still some place you'll find teens.  Am I wrong..?
There are a lot of things to consider but you'll innately know what type of setting once you figure out your audience so just go with the flow.  If worse comes to worse, get have a friend or someone close - a family member or someone who you know will be brutally honest - that will read your writing and they'll tell you straight up, "I don't think a mermaid belongs in your urban spaghetti monster story."  Not only that, when you have an editor, they'll tell you what needs to be tossed out.

I hope this installment helps!

Feel free to ask questions if you have any and Good Luck!