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Original Fiction Planning

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by Download, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    How do people here plan their stories?

    I've been want to put pen to paper with a scifi idea I've had for a while but beyond a rough timeline and a few technological concepts I'm struggling to write out the world (or more correctly galaxy) in an easy to navigate and readable manner.

    I'm half tempted to use wiki software.

    What do people on DLP use? I've found that planning a world from scratch is completely different from fanfiction.
     
  2. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Joe
  3. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Is it actually worth $40?
     
  4. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Wouldn't know. :awesome
     
  5. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    So, the "yarr, I'm a pirate!" kind "I wouldn't know" or the perpetual trial "I wouldn't know"?
     
  6. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Headmaster

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    In terms of world building I take things like military, religion, political system, rich/poor, or any other domain and then ask 'what if?' You can use that question almost indefinitely until you hit on an interesting concept.

    So, let's say I want a world where people woreship gods.

    What if my people worship more than one god?

    What if there is a war between gods?

    What if only one god exists even if people worship several?

    What if no god exist even if people worship several?

    Actually, I have to revise the first answer. Not just 'What if?' but any manner of question should be helpful.

    How do my people worship?

    Where do these people worship?

    What are the initiation rituals for aspirants of a new faith?

    In that vein, questions lead you to discover your world as you go along. That's my theory/approach anyway. I don't work with any programs.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Honestly? Start writing. Discover the world as you go. It'll change either way - whether you plan an entire encyclopedia beforehand or just dive in.

    Start writing stories in your perceived world. The detail is what matters, which will come as you write.

    I keep a 'Series Bible' for my urban fantasy stuff. With everything from character descriptions to planets and/or realms mentioned offhandedly. I'm only 3 books in and it has already saved me dozens of times, continuity wise.

    Write and develop as you go. The first draft of anything will require a rewrite anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  8. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    I use whatever word processor I've got handy (MS Word or Open Office) plus literal pen and paper (usually A4 format notebooks). I've got a ton of notes scattered around. Also, I keep a lot of the stuff in my head.
     
  9. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I'm not asking for writing help, I'm asking for help stopping my notes turning into a massive cluttered mess.

    ---------- Post automerged at 23:38 ---------- Previous post was at 23:37 ----------

    That's what I'm doing with most of my stuff atm. Last time I planned something big though and started writing it I found i struggled to find things in the maze of notes.
     
  10. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Download, I think you may be approaching this thing from the wrong end.

    1. Have an idea for a story you want to tell.

    2. Then write notes to flesh out the world and characters once you know where you want it all to go.

    You don't need specialized software to organize your ideas. I have a separate folder on the hard drive. In that folder, there are sub-folders: Characters, Locations, Magic, Plot, Misc and whatever else grows big enough to have its own category. Sort it nicely and you'll find stuff quickly. Ctrl+F is your friend in ordinary .docs. Computer is of course much superior to pen and paper, but I find myself using them if I just don't feel like typing.

    tldr: have a solid idea, put a rough skeleton together in your head, and you'll notice that things aren't such a mess because you know what your story is and where every element fits
     
  11. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    yWriter is a free software that works like Scrivener, but I actually like it better for various reasons.

    But it doesn't factor into the planning part, for me. I roll ideas around in my head until I have a basic story I want to tell, then I start making outline notes on it. Once I have some of the major plot points and a character or two, I start writing. Details help sort themselves out once I get going at that point, and edits can make it work better.
     
  12. LittleChicago

    LittleChicago Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Spreadsheets.

    I'm new to the idea, as I used to keep all of that shit on hand-written and incredibly messy notes, or in my head, where I would lose it after a few weeks.

    With spreadsheets, you can keep lists of whatever aspect of your world you are focused on - military, economy, characters, religion, monsters - on a single sheet, then flip to another one when a new idea hits. And since it's all in a grid, you can x-ref with ease.

    Google Docs and such are kind of a boon for this, since if an entry out-grows the spreadsheet, you can just name a new doc after the entry and expand 'til your heart's content, and everything just sits there in a nice list.
     
  13. Vira

    Vira Order Member

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    Before I started writing my first draft, I used word document folders. Since my story takes place in two locations, I created two folders, then sub-folders for things like characters, places, education, history, and other location-specific information. Then a third folder for information and history concerning both locations at once.
     
  14. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    I used to use ywriter then it chewed up and spit out one of my stories, forcing me to abandon it because it doesn't actually allow you to use the backups it creates properly, or at least it didnt back then.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, it's free software written by one dude (so far as I know) that is far from what I'd call streamlined. But it lets me have more things open at once than Scrivener did (at least last time I used Scrivener) and doesn't distract me from writing with bells and whistles cluttering up the screen.

    Probably one of those 'six of one, half a dozen of the other' things. Scrivener is the nicer software by far though, I'll give you that. I just found it irritating in ways that yWriter wasn't.

    TL;DR - Try both! One will probably be useful for you.
     
  16. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I'm giving Scrivener a go. We'll see where it goes.

    ---------- Post automerged at 22:53 ---------- Previous post was at 22:45 ----------

    Taking a look at yWriter it looks better than Scrivener except for the text editor which is kind've the important part.
     
  17. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    I personally really like Scrivener for the flexibility it gives you along with keeping stuff together and easily moving around scenes. Then again, I've used it academically as much or more than for fiction. It was unbelievably helpful for comprehensives, especially being able to track which sections I had memories and which ones I still struggled on, or which ones I needed to do more research on and which ones I completed.

    As for organization, you may want to focus on Scrivener's notecard function. One you can go about it is start with the single notecard with a one sentence plotline. Then open it and expand that one sentence to a paragraphn, and break that paragraph up, one sentence per notecard, then do it again.

    Now, you have your chapter ideas and flow, and when you open up those notecards (each notecard is attached to a document you can write in), you can expand those chapter sentences, creating your scenes. Now, you have your entire outline by notecard, and all in order. Scrivener lets you move them around pretty easily if you think you want to do that later on. Also, use the note pad on the right hand side to jot down names or other things that you might be looking up, and then hyperlink it to another page in scrivener where you expand on that character.

    At least, that's one way of doing it.

    Also, when it comes to editing, I don't know about the other program, but scrivener actually puts everything into your default word processor documents. That enables you to go into the word docs and edit the material there, especially if you're using ProWritingAide or StyleWriter.

    That's not to say Scrivener is the be-all-end-all. There's some distinct disadvantages to it as well, but I've grown to really like it.