So how does everyone plot their stories?   Is it something you do before hand or do you just go with the flow?  (I know an author who puts post-it notes all over her walls. )

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I just started using Scrivener for Windows a couple of weeks ago, and it has been so helpful for the way I write -- very piecemeal, lots of notes and character bios, changing my mind constantly about where the plot points need to fall -- the corkboard feature is a veritable godsend. I'm having so much fun with the program.

Greetings all,


I usually lurk on this forum. I just wanted to say thank you for posting the questions and answers!

( goes back into hiding)

I read the Marshal Plan book on writing. Don't recommend it. Too anal. I start with a theme or concept and as scenes pop in my head I jot them down. Then I work on an outline to tie them together.

I just attended Hypericon in Nashville, and question was answered by a panel.

It seems there are as many ways to plot as there are writers.

My way is to just append notes to the end of my Word Document, if I have an idea, and don't have the inclination to write about it.  Then chapters get titled, using Headers.

Greg Cook stated that he never outlined, but then made the point, that he had found that he really kept a detailed outline in his head.  


Most plotting is done on the fly for me. I go back and adjust my tale as needed, as the characters reveal the tale to me.

[Really glad to see some positive comments on Scrivener for Windows - I've been wondering if it's worth trying!]


For me so far, it depends on the length of what I'm writing, and how long I've had the idea.


Most things I write need some kind of plotting, usually pretty vague for the first draft. Sort of allows me to compensate for any characters who are pretty firm about their way of doing things, no matter what I say they should be doing at this point. The second draft is then usually based on a pretty heavy plan.


However, there was a story just for a friend of mine that didn't need any notes whatsoever. The idea had been brewing for three months, so by the time I sat down to write it, I knew exactly how it went.

So often I do a very vague outline, write, and review.  Sometimes I'm happier with where my imagination took me than any amount of planning.  Sometimes my imagination paints my plot into a corner and I must revise based on referring to my outline.  It's a collaborative effort between my plotting mind and my imaginative mind.
I usually get a scene or two stuck in my head, then I figure out who was there, how they got there, and so-forth. It generally kind of snowballs from there. Also, background music, I loves me some background music. Mostly though it's getting the major important scenes figured out, then adding in some filler. The characters do most of that though, since I can add in character background/development, and I'm a sucker for that.
Rewrites.  My scenes follow a skeletal plot and each time I revisit I discover new layers to add that tie into other parts of the plot and other character interactions.

Haven't written any Steampunk, but. I have a series of stories about Gargoyles called Clan of the Grotesque (about 7 stories, averaging 7-9 pages), so I come up with an idea, do the necessary research. Then open a regular notepad on my desktop and make notes of general ideas, work it all out and then follow that as I write.


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