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15th November, 2018

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    sandol posted an update in the group THE EVER NEVER HANDBOOK Talk 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    @davysmavy @lunalovegoodfan @jafaristhebest @madnsocal @delilahkitty @book-lover77 @pandafox135 @agathatedros06 @lifeasabookworm @lynxdragon67 @zee110
    Hello, hello, and welcome to the first meeting of Quills and Spills! There will be future sessions open to present your writing for feedback and for you to critique fellow club members’ work.
    As a member, feel free to share your opinions and thoughts, be kind, and most importantly, have fun!
    Now, repeat after me:

    I give myself permission to write badly.
    I give myself permission to write badly.
    I give myself permission to write badly.

    Congratulations! You have now been inducted into the club.
    Each club meeting will begin with a question that you can feel free to talk about. I will compile resources and advice related to the question, not as an answer but for a jumping-off point to start the discussion. Topics we will cover include:
    Plot, scene structure, character development, backstory, worldbuilding, group rping, writing suspense, description, fantasy tropes, etc. Tag me or comment if you have any topic ideas, requests, or specific questions you want to explore.
    Now, for today’s question: What are ways I can plot my story?
    When you hear the word plot, you gulp in fear as shivers race down your spine. You imagine thick stacks of papers and the book report you’re procrastinating on.
    Or perhaps it invokes images of your third-grade teacher drawing a squiggly line on the whiteboard and saying, “Behold: a story mountain!”
    Plot is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing thing.
    Plot is a map of your story. The overall arc, the big picture.
    Some writers need to know every single event that happens from start to finish, and some of you prefer not to know what will happen next. These are a few common approaches, but remember that there is no one right way to plot.
    Everyone has a different approach to writing.
    Find what works for you.
    > Free-flow. Many writers do not plan their stories in advance and write without following an outline. They come up with ideas as they go, not knowing what will happen next, and surprising themselves. It helps to begin with a vague idea of the overall story in mind and to know what your character really, really wants.
    > Big picture. Some writers like to plan out their story structures, character backstories, and plot twists before they begin writing, but still leave room to surprise themselves, making up the smaller decisions as they go. They figure out the big picture first, details later. However, since they do not outline their entire story, their original plan is incomplete. They need to stop and review their plot periodically.
    > Snowflake method. Randy Ingermanson, an author who liked the big picture approach, created a ten-step method for it. He compared it to a snowflake fractal: perfect but incomplete at every stage.
    > Outlining. These writers create a detailed plan and stick to it strictly. They spend a good chunk of their time poring over their outline before writing. It saves revision time, and they finish their chapters faster because they know where they’re going. But they may feel bored with their story because they have already figured out all the plot twists and there are few surprises. They also might have to sacrifice their characters by changing them to fit the preset plot.
    > Or you’re like me, and you are in the process of figuring out which plotting approach works best for you. Try a wide variety of approaches until you find something that you like.

    The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson (
    Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter (The methods go by different names, but they are similar.)

    In future posts, we will discuss plot structure and creating storylines.

    Discussion question: Have you found an approach you like? How do you plot your stories?

        lauren813 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        hey, this seems really cool! sorry if I’m not supposed to comment on this but I’d love to join if that’s possible!

          sandol replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

          Of course you can join!

          lauren813 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago


        jafaristhebest replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        Oooh this was so interesting!! So I think my plotting approach is more Big Picture currently; I’ve tried doing the chapter-by-chapter method, I actually tried it for TPBaDN, but I ended up scrapping the whole plot I did for that and it took a really long time.
        I like plotting it out chapter-by-chapter, with three or four main points addressed per chapter and then the rest able to fill with whatever and character things and such; it helps me stick to a plot and since the bullets are normally pretty loose I still can change it up a tiny bit.

          sandol replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

          That’s cool! The Princess By a Different Name has a very natural flow to it, yet it still has an intriguing storyline.
          I tried outlining several times, but my story always meandered off course and I ended up making things up as I went. I think I lean towards Snowflaking.
          I change my original plan many, many times as I write. I’ll come up with new ideas and threads in the middle of a paragraph, and then I realize that my story has too many confusing threads leading off to nowhere. But the funny thing is that I love suddenly coming up with an idea that ties everything together (though it usually doesn’t end well).

        2iycrb2qawutob replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        Please tag me for this

          silver13 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago


        delilahkitty replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        I . . . just go with it. I write what I want to.

        sophiethequeengoddess replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        Can I join? I do Free-flow all the time.

        book-lover77 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        I think I do a mix of big picture and outlining. If I ever write anything on site for fun it’s normally free-flow with a bit of a guide (I’d say it’s like following a Northern Star; you don’t know what’s ahead yet you know you’re going in the right direction.) But when writing my novel I’ve got it planned quite a bit, with like 30 bullet points with ideas, yet I generally change my side characters a lot more than the free-flow. I don’t really get bored of outlining as it excites me to get to that part quicker, but I understand why people would.
        Also, interesting topic, it was fun reading about it!

        agathatedros06 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        I do more Big Picture. I have a basic outline of the main thing to do and sometimes I come up with specific ideas for different scenes and write them down so I can later insert them into the story. I also know my characters quite well, I create bios for them, and so I can imagine what theyy’d do in a certain situation and not plan it out

        cattyrose replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        this is awesome Dae tag!!!!

        jiop replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        Can I please be tagged for this too? I’m working on a fanfic rn and I’ve had to before that barely got to chapter two. I think I usually go with the big picture but I think I might prefer snowflaking.

        lynxdragon67 replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago

        Free flow. the fanfiction I’m writing for marvel lately has a goal at the end, but I let my fingers do the typing and not my brain until I decide it has gotten too dramatic or confusing.

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