Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Before Chapter One: Skeletal Plotting

Before Chapter One: What do I have in place before I start drafting? Inspiration board, plot bullets, full outline, character profiles, etc?

Hello, my name is KAK, and I'm a skeletal plotter. That means before I start drafting I have something between plot bullets and a full outline. I know if the book is a stand-alone or part of a series, and the respective story arcs. I know my primary and secondary character names, dominant attributes, and points of introduction. I know what relationship and purpose those characters have with the main character. I have a vague idea of setting/environment. I know the highlights of the magic system and if there are magical creatures. I know the plot's three arcs and the ending. I have a primary theme/purpose for every chapter, thus I know the path of the primary plot. I also highlight relationship milestones/changes/challenges chapter-by-chapter.

I also know that 60% of that outline isn't going to reflect the final story once it's drafted. It's okay. The 40% that remains is what keeps the story on track. The 60% isn't wasted effort; it's the flexibility that still allows me the wonder and enjoyment of discovery without jumping off the rails.

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