Writing Class Notes: The Write Right story writing 11-step story-drafting progression
1. Plant a seed - Create an idea that launches the story.
2. Create the main character(s)- Define the core, personality, activity and sensory layers of the main character. Create the history layer as needed to explain the other layers.
3. Define the story theme and story question - Identify a story theme and, from goal, create a story question.
4. Lay out story structure - From goal define the ending point. From obstacles create a sequence of events (Plot). Identify associated risk and danger.
5. Define and create necessary supporting characters.
6. Who tells the story? (Viewpoint & Perspective). What character could best tell the story? Which perspective would best allow the reader to experience the story?
7. Map the scenes and sequels - Break the plot into discreet interactions (scenes). Define each scene and identify the climax.
8. Make it real. Make it visual. - Know each setting as well as you know your own bedroom; know each character as well as family.
9. How late can I start? How early can I end? - What is the first event which the reader must see? Is there anything beyond the climax other than answering the story question and providing a final sequel?
10. Record the first draft (s) - Say it; repeat it; then record it. Then re-record it until you are satisfied with the version on tape.
11. Write the story - Focus on detail, energy, emotion, word choice, and character feeling and information as you write.
Even though this is from 1999, I think it gives a good indication on the steps to follow for your first draft. Since I am still learning the writing craft, the information serves as a useful "guide" to keep your work in some kind of "order".
What other progressions or outlines have you followed while doing your first draft?
From Write Right! Creative Writing Using Storytelling Techniques. © 1999 Kendall Haven. Teacher Ideas Press
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