Hello. I have this idea where the whole concept of the book revolves around death. But i have a problem with trying write it out, could you give me a guide about planning? Like a basic skeleton to a slice of life book?
There are lots of ways to plan, and what works really well for one writer can be completely unhelpful to another. There’s no one-size-fits-all skeleton exactly, but here are some ways and means for you to try:
Second, you can always try and map out the plot based off of a story structure system- aka,
1. this famous Freytag model,
Or related to that, the “skeletal outline”, in which you take each of those elements and write down a few details for each one:
Finn lives alone in a disheveled house
-He is trying to change his life after a complicated past
- Leon, from Finn’s past, shows up
- Leon tries to rope Finn into a plan
2. your Hero’s Journey,
and go point by point through the arc, writing down a sentence or two for each significant moment on the chart.
3. “Flashlight Outlining”:
Take it chapter by chapter and just “shine a little light” on what’s going to happen.
Chapter 1: Finn is living alone when someone from his past, Leon, comes to visit him, trying to convince him to help him with a crime. Finn says no.
Chapter 2: Leon gets mad and concocts a plan that lands Finn in hot water.
Chapter 3: Vera agrees to help Finn, but in return he has to help her with…
And so on.
Write all your ideas down in one place, and don’t even try to organize it. Sometimes just figuring out what you do know helps you figure out what you don’t know.
If you’re artsy, you can even try drawing out a little mind map of all the elements you have so far.
5. Penemue’s Personal Method:
This is just something that I started doing by myself when I first started writing, and I’ve been doing it ever since, just because it works for me. It’s something like the flashlight or skeletal method, but with an added element: for each part of the plot, I write a quick little line or quote that summarizes the idea or the scene.
1. Finn is trying to figure out his life independently when Leon shows up.
“We’d really like for you to come back to us, Finnigan.” Leon smiled a tight-lipped smile as he leaned against the battered door frame, folding his arms as he pressed his back against the front door, making it clear that Finn was not allowed to leave.
2. Finn refuses to help Leon, so Leon frames Finn to get him in trouble as revenge.
“As the city guards locked the shackles around his wrists, Finn could glimpse Leon through the gathering crowd. He gave Finn that same stupid smile before disappearing down the alley. He’d made good on his promise.”
And so on. It’s not writing the entire scene, although it often prompts me to do so. But it gives me a glimpse into each moment as I picture it, which I can then look back on for inspiration when it’s time to really write it.
It also helps to do some character planning before you start as well.
You can also find some cool templates on the internet.
In short, there are a million models of outlines and maps, and sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the one that suits you personally. And of course, when all else fails, you can always combine different elements to make your own. I hope this gives you a good place to start.
Anyone can feel free to add on their own methods!