View Full Version : Planning Ahead

RaZoR LeAf
31st October 2005, 11:19 PM
Do you usually plan ahead what you're going o, or want to write, in each chapter? How far ahead do you go? I tried to do it today. I wrote out the main points of what was already in my current chapters and they came up with about 4-5 pointers each (prologue-chapter 4). But further ahead, specifically chapters 5-11 are massive, with about 10 points or more in each.

Either I'm adding important points that are all part of the same thing, or my chapters are going to be twice the size as the last ones. I'm partially regretting writing down all my ideas now. Has anyone else had this problem? As yet, I have no idea how my fic actually ends, but I know what happens in the Epilogue. Is that weird?

31st October 2005, 11:26 PM
I often plan ahead, but when it comes down to it, I tend to make changes every so often. Heck, I certainly know now that my story would have never wound up the way it was a year ago with new subplots and stuff.

1st November 2005, 12:54 AM
I have an idea of where I want to go with the story, of course, but I don't really plan ahead in that I write everything down. Everything stays in my head until it goes into the right chapter, so my plots are usually radically different when I actually write through them than when I start them. In general, I find this to be a good thing.

Lil Brother
1st November 2005, 1:26 AM
I usually just type up the first chapter or two without thinking. Then I put a bit more thought into where I'm going with it. And there are some additional subplots and major plot changes along the way. My fic's planned ending is way different than it was going to be originally.

1st November 2005, 1:29 AM
I plan the basics of it and if an idea comes in my head I'll use it. Or sometimes I'll skip ahead and write it.


Mew King
1st November 2005, 1:59 AM
Yeah...I'm the only one who probably does this, but after gathering everything that I want to use in the fic, I actually write both the beginning and the end at the same time. It helps me get through the rest easily. It works well...in conjunction with Poe's principles to always know the end at the beginning. Most of the ideas that come into my head hardly change the end at all. Even if they do, they can be written to not be involved.

Saffire Persian
1st November 2005, 2:13 AM
It depends. I generally know where I want to go, but I usually don't go so far as to write down an outline.. if I do have an outline, it's in my head, and usually doesn't go further then that.

1st November 2005, 2:32 AM
I summarize the entire fic before I even start on chapter one.

The Big Al
1st November 2005, 2:58 AM
I usually map out the main plots first. Then I write the story and the mio plots come to me as I write.

+Chaos Blade+
1st November 2005, 3:16 AM
I used to wing it.

Now I often plan all my chapters, even if it is a 48-chaptered trilogy or whatnot.

1st November 2005, 3:19 AM
I always make sure I've got a solid knowledge of how I want the plot to develop, how it starts, how it ends. Then I just go ahead with all guns charging into each chapter with a basic outline of it in my head, and let my imagination take care of the rest.

Eternal Daydreamer
1st November 2005, 3:19 AM
I just write it out and wing it most of the time.

Chibi Pika
1st November 2005, 11:52 AM
Well....actually with my fic, I went charging ahead and then once I ran out of badge battles, I stuffed in a bunch of weird, legendy plot in the end, but then when chapters didn't end up as long as they were supposed to be, I had to wing it, but...

Yeah, the rest of it is even more gruesome--fast forward to revision 9.

I have pretty much the whole plot figured out, but I've been trying to flesh out details recently. I've never outlined the fic in my life. Outlines are evil. Instead, I keep everything in my head--chapter summaries, plot hole alerts (and there are a lot of those >>), new plot twists, where to put forshadowing, how to connect all five parts of the fic together, exactly how to write future scenes, ect.

Unfortunately, usually when writing a chapter, I come up with new ideas while writing it and forget my old ones, and then a week or so after finishing it, I regret not putting in a certain scene I had planned to put in, but meh.

But I could never organize all that info on paper(or computer screen)-its much better off in the floating abyss of my brain XP


1st November 2005, 12:03 PM
I personally hate writing down plans. Those sorts of things drive around the bend, they take ages. Instead when I start a story, I think over the plot thoroughly until I know the main plots and twists, and before I write a chapter I think over what I intend to add. I also think of new ideas while I write and insert them, or insert new plot twists that I thought of the preivious day. With The rising storm, (don't read, its buried in the sands of time and should stay there) I added ideas higgledy piggledy, almost never following them up. In Phoenix I am trying to avoid this, try and make it so little references turn in to big ones further on.

1st November 2005, 5:16 PM

don't get me started on outlines.

if I had stuck to my outline, Hell Hath no Fury: An Ice Queen's Saga would be just another journey fic lost in the forums.

but because when I was writing it I was inspired and had Lorelei's Sneasel be attacked by a Mightyena and crush its Carentamous Assembly (original version, not this one), I got the whole Allnian plot in there.

and even if I had stuck with the plot with that plotline, I never would have gotten the whole Team Blizzard thing.

and, in Operation: Celebi, if I had stuck with my original plan, Lorelei wouln't be playing such a big role in it in the chapter I justput up and the ones after that.

true, I DO have a general idea of where I want it to go, and sometimes specific ideas, but that's all I have. a general feeling of where the plot is gonna go.

and that's why I surprised myself when HHNF came to an end!

might be surprising, but it's true.

I like surprising myself.

it's a bit hard to keep continuity sometimes, but I manage.

1st November 2005, 5:32 PM
Started off each of my two fics on a wing and a prayer, added a plot, then as I wrote I added more and more. At first Emerald Lands was simply a romance novel disguised as a trainer fic. Now I don't know what to call it. And my AAML started off cliche. Now I have added the weirdest twist anyone could think of. Ho-oh. What can I say, I'm weird. I have a rough guide for EL, with simply when evolutions and captures happen, plus some other key events mentioned, but no real plot. If I followed my outline, it would simply be catch, evolve, battle, catch, evolve, battle, until I hit the GroudonvsKyogre bit, things got temporarily interesting, then simply battle, battle, battle. But my AAML outline is more like a calander, with stuff like:

Dec.4th: Ash and Misty go to couples dance.

In other words, the briefest summary of each chapter. If you read chapter four, then compared it to the above outline, well I won't say nothing.

I have the end of each fic detailed in my mind quite clearly, and that's about it.

2nd November 2005, 5:07 PM
I outline for about 7 chapters at a time. This one fic I'm currently writing has been planned out for the next 7 chapters, but I'm still ironing out the details. Once I get far enough, then I start thinking about the next 7 chapters, etc.

Burnt Flower
6th November 2005, 10:36 PM
For chaptered fics, I definitely plan ahead. I have two very worn-out journals dedicated to just one fic: one is about the outline of each and every chapter of my fic and the other is where I wrote the background and the actions each character will make during the whole story. As for one-shots, I just write them without much planning as soon as I get an idea (and I'm not feeling lazy). :3

6th November 2005, 10:43 PM
I plan as much as I can before I start writing. As far as I'm concerned, it prevents writer's block excellently. I determine the overall set-up of the story focusing firstly on the main events, then on the smaller events, and finally on each character. I like to be organized and to have everything planned.

That doesn't means I'm completely oblivious to change. Depending on my readers' impressions and how the story goes so far, I can change a few things in-between. I just have the general idea outlined, and can change anything when writing if needed be...

Evan Turner
9th November 2005, 9:45 AM
I usually plan ahead and make any changes (tiny tiny TINY changes) as I go. That way, I'll know where I'm going and edit whatever I need to if it doesn't fit in to the story......

9th November 2005, 10:17 AM
For me, I type out everything I can think of in MS Word, so that I won't lose the file or anything, etc... Then, I go back and make some changes, and type more, on what I have in plan.

9th November 2005, 11:16 AM
Usually I plan out the entire story in dot points, but not by chapter. Then when I'm writing it I just cut off the chapter wherever it feels right, or change the plot according to the demands of the story. I've had major plot changes that way, which usually spurs a plot change of stuff I've already written, which usually spurs a desire to rewrite... eh, it's a hard life :P