Take a look at this, it may work for you...
The author is a software programmer who is also a sci-fi writer. I like the highly structured approach (considering I start things and then never finish them), so I'm gonna give this a shot.
Waddya all think?
December 16th, 2003, 02:00 PM
That seems like a very good method. Right now I'm struggling with a writing project that hasn't revealed its true nature even to me. So on my holidays I'm probably going to take some time and go through those instructions. Somehow just reading through that page got me strangely motivated. That has to mean that the method will work, doesn't it? (I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
December 17th, 2003, 02:31 PM
Great post pcarney!
While this method seems a little too mechanical to suit my style completely, I think there's a lot of good stuff in what this guy says.
I especially like the kind of stuff he identifies for developing a character. Too often I see people building characters the way the would for various role-paying games. They sit down and write out all sorts of trivial stuff like hair colour, eye colour, favourite snack etc. - and while things like that do have their place, they rarely define a character.
a) The character's name
b) A one-sentence summary of the character's storyline
c) The character's motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?)
d) The character's goal (what does he/she want concretely?)
e) The character's conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?)
f) The character's epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?)
g) A one-paragraph summary of the character's storyline
Of course you need to keep in mind that not all characters are going to have a an epiphany. They should have goals, motivation, and conflict though.
Lots of good advice. Thanks.
December 17th, 2003, 04:47 PM
I am going to give this method a shot, but I can't say I agree with everything he has to say about what makes a good story. More to the point, the project I'm working on right now doesn't abide by his structure. However, I started last night working with his method, and its already made me rethink several plot points. I found breaking my story down to a paragraph, let alone a sentence was surprisingly difficult.
December 18th, 2003, 02:49 AM
I really like that.
I've often thought it would be interesting to write a story by writing a summary first and then slowly building on it piece by piece. Maybe when I've finished my current project I'll give it a shot.
I always find that the more planing I do the easier the work is so this could really work for me.
I don't entirely agree with his structure, but then you can always adapt things like this to your own style.