Confession: I have been a struggling writer for over 10 years. Not as in financially, but struggling to finish a first draft, struggling to write consistently, and struggling to maintain motivation to keep writing.
However, this year I have turned a corner, with renewed motivation and a daily growing word count. And all of this progress is happening while I'm working full time and about to give birth to my second child. Ironic, huh? When you have the least amount of free time is when you tend to be the most productive?
I think that one of the main reasons why I have been writing productively recently is that I have a map for my novel. I have found its central storyline, which allows me to write any scene from anywhere in the story and always know where I should be headed. I can't tell you how much more enjoyable and freeing my writing sessions have been!
Below is my strategy for finding the central storyline of any story that you may be writing, and it involves only 5 key scenes:
- Inciting Incident
- What happens to change your hero's normal world and puts all the upcoming events into motion?
- Point of No Return
- What does your hero do that will forever change the course of events? Remember, there is no going back to the way things were after this!
- It-Can't-Get-Any-Worse Complication
- It-Just-Did (Climax)
- What is the worst thing that can happen to your hero? This is when the s#@t hits the fan, to put it bluntly.
- The Resolution
- How will your hero resolve this worst-of-all problem? Is it a victory or a defeat? How will your hero be changed by it?
These scenes will most likely be familiar to you since they appear in some form or another in many writing advice books and blogs. I just wanted to highlight them for you as the key scenes that have jump started my recent success in maintaining an enjoyable and consistent writing life.
What strategies do you use to plot out your stories?