Plot it, Don't Pants it!

Hello friends. I've been absent I know. Top secret SHIELD missions have kept me just a little busy, and under the radar for a while. No, it doesn't have anything to do with incidents on the news. And no, I was not involved with blowing up any cities out of the way. 

So with that said, on to today's topic; plotting before the first draft. 

There are two kinds of writers in this world. Those that Outline and those that Pants. That's the generic division anyway. But even Pansters need some plan before they start. It's basic writing. One big idea needs smaller ideas to make it work. You need a goal in mind. So I'm going to give you a few things to think about before you start the first draft. 

Maybe you're an outliner and need some questions to think about when getting ready to plan, maybe you're a panster and want to develop a couple pages of thoughts and notes to go off of. Either way, here's some questions to ask before the first draft. That way, your story won't turn into crap, while will in turn make you feel like crap as a writer. 

What Do I Expect From This Book?
What is my vision of the end product?

What Do My Readers Expect From This Book?
What should the idea and synopsis of the story help them to picture?

What Can I Do To Throw My Readers for a Loop?
How can I surprise them with plot twists?

What Will People Be Saying About This Book?
Write an advance glowing review for your novel

How Can I Make My Readers Feel Hard? 
What themes/emotions do you want to be an underlying tone?

What Do I REALLY Want In My Book?
It is your book, what elements do YOU want included to make it really yours?

Now these are just a few questions you can answer before you start a novel to get your brain rolling. And every genre is going to be different. With fantasy, there are magic rules and systems to reason on. Contemporary might focus more on the feels and characters. Dystopian calls for well ordered and exciting plot. Answer these generic questions and then focus them on your specific book idea and you'll get your brain rolling in no time. 

Well duty calls and I must away. Good luck folks! Later Days,


  1. I would totally second writing your dream review before you start the first draft. Knowing what you want will help later because what you write won't come out the way you want it to. Personally, I usually scrap outlines or only use parts of them. I think the most helpful thing for a panster to do would be to just get to know the world/characters. Get a firm idea of the story maybe plan a few major things then just go at it. At least, that's what has worked for me in the past.

  2. This is a great check list to remember. Thanks. :)