The Scribe

Confessions of a Planner

I used to always wonder what it was like to be a planner. Was it hard? Time consuming? Or the inner most philosophy that a writer has to learn to truly be a writer?Well, I learned quickly that being a planner has three stages that range from sane to just plain crazy.

The first level is the most sane, a one paged bullet point outline. This outline only holds the most important aspects of your article, story, etc. and  the overall format is very minimalist. This, if you are a new planner, would be the outlining style I would advise you to use.Using this style can help you organize pretty much any piece of writing with a beginning, middle, and end.

Here is the link to an example/ worksheet version. You can use this to get a better idea on how to use this strategy. I like this one for shorter projects. However, the second one is the one I usually use every time I start a new project.

The second level is considered the Three Acts Method. With this plan you literally separate your story or screenplay into three different “Acts” or, as it is more popularity known, the setup, confrontation, and resolution. The setup is pretty straight forward. It is the setup/beginning of your story and the most important. It is like the hook for your whole story. You write a long paragraph for each and then you are on your way. By doing this you give yourself a big enough lead in the thought and writing process that the actual writing part should be a walk in the park. I, however, found that this process didn’t necessarily work for me when it came to novels or larger projects, because I needed more information and/or depth when it came to my characters and their backstories.

The third and most intense level, is the Snowflake Method. This method uses ten steps to help you understand your story on such a deep level that writing it becomes second nature. You start with describing your story with fifteen words and then slowly build up to something like the Three Acts Method where you write out a paragraph for the beginning middle and end. Then, when it gets really extreme, you write a full page for each. I have used this method before and was extremely impressed with the results.

I literally got to the point where I was able to write the story like it was my own life. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but it is what you want as a writer. Because you have to write what you know to get good results, you have to know  your story like you know your own life story.

Well, there are the main three levels/ methods when it comes to planning any kind of writing pieces. Some, obviously, work better for different kinds of projects but each can be used for multiple which is why I like them all so much.

If any of you can think of any other planning methods for any kind of writing projects please comment them below and I will definitely look into them. I always love learning more and more about my craft!

If you want to find out which one YOU are, take the quiz!

From your fellow writer and BLOGAHOLIC, peace out ♥

-Hannah

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