A Plotting Guide for the Noveist
Here you are, you know you want to write a novel. You love books so why not create your own right? The ultimate question though is where do I start? I asked this question when I first decided I wanted to write a novel. I asked someone I knew at the time who had just published a self-help book. Her first response was it simply comes to you. When you have a story to tell, the words will come. She saw the dumbfounded look on my face and smiled. She had told me she also started by writing down notes about what she wanted to talk about and what was important to her.
I remember taking her words in and thinking about what she said for the next couple weeks. During that time, I thought about what it was that was important to me, what I liked and felt passionate about. I thought about all the book series I was in love with and all the movie series I was in love with and why they were special to me. I thought about the kind of character traits I find endearing and admirable. One day it dawned on me, I have always loved looking up at the stars. I have always liked learning about my Zodiac signs and the elements. I knew I wanted to write a series that was fantasy based and boom there it was characters who were centered around the stars, their elements, and their Zodiac sign.
From there I researched the meaning of names until I had written down a page full of names with their meanings next to it. Names I liked for my good characters, names I liked for the evil ones, and the names I liked for the ones you wouldn't be sure of. Once I fell in love with the meaning of the names, I was able to tie my characters into one another and develop their traits and personalities. From there I knew what drove them and that was how I was able to begin forming ideas for the plot of my story and what happened to them.
I bought the book "The Idiots Guide to Astrology" at Barnes and Nobles so I could dive further into my research. Fiction is not supposed to be real but we are supposed to make it believable. How can my book feel real if I don't take the time to research more in depth this theme I chose.
I started with bullet points, that became sentences, that became paragraphs until one day there I was with a story that had thousands of words with many many pages and characters who I was taking an amazing journey with.
I can honestly say it was not easy but it was so much fun doing it. I continue to enjoy my writing and characters to this day. I love when I discover something new about them and how I can help improve them and my plot. When you are doing something you are truly passionate about it doesn't feel like work. It's simply a beautiful and wonderful creation.