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How I Plan My Stories: Part 1 - The Idea

This is Part 1 of my How I Plan My Stories series. I’ve been really wanting to go in depth about how I write a story and the steps I take. It’s quite a long process, but this is just how I do things. Every writer has his/her own way of doing things so don’t panic if something does not work for you! Note that because I am majoring in Literature and not Creative Writing, many of the information I know comes from research and my experiences. I began planning my story back in 2015 and I would be lying if I said I remember everything about planning it. To be honest, it went through countless of changes that they’re really all just a big blur to me. However, I do remember a couple major points about it.

  1. At the time, I had read a book and thought, “what if this had happened [between two (original) characters]?” I ended up expanding from there.
  2. I eventually kept many details and scrapped the idea that originated from the book I had read. Therefore, although my story technically emerged from said book, it has been completely changed and is not similar to the original idea.
  3. I struggled with a couple details until last year.
  4. I remember making a list of the characters but we’ll get to that in Part 2.

So, essentially, we always begin with an idea. Whether you can’t stop thinking about a character you’ve come up with, a storyline, or a setting, these are all the beginnings of stories. From here on, it gets a little easier, and unfortunately, a lot harder. Luckily, I’m sharing some questions that will help you develop your characters and plot.

These are general questions, therefore you don’t have to get into the details right now. You also don’t have to answer every question if you don’t want to. I don’t. In my first story, I didn’t think about the idea of having questions help me come up with my story. After a while, that changed. 

Questions that will hopefully help you out:




COMING SOON: Part 2 - The Details

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