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How much of your story do you plan before you begin writing?


Middle of nowhere
Oh boy. I've been using the same plot for forever, so pretty much... Everything. However, a lot of changes occur as I go through various periods of planning and inspiration. For instance, I'm considering making a huge unplanned change now. However, I normally try to work within the existing plot structure and only change a few aspects that alter the tone, but not the course, of the plot.


Well-Known Member
All I have when I start a story is the main characters, the situation I'm going to put them in, and where I would like them to end up.

Personally, I find planning anything out more than that to be stifling, and I don't write as freely as I do otherwise.


Charmander is best
Well for me, it's a bit of both. I plan little details out ahead of time, and then run with it. There are certain parts in my writing that have been planned for ages, before anything else, and other parts that are very much added in last minute for kicks.

The one thing I really plan out are characters, because in my opinion characters can make or break a good story. An over done character, or a character with little flaw can become aggravating to read about, so I try to plan out quirks for my characters ahead of time.


Pain in Rocket side
Eh, none of it, all of it. I have some plan, but no real steucture. I think Moonlighting is wrong, I knwo who my characters are, what the outcome of an arc, if not the story, will be, how they get there is completely up to the story. From there, all I do is try to steer. My draft is simply a collection of notes for when I don't have time to write. Often, it doesn't take me that long to put down a chapter onto the keyboard, because I'm already two chapters ahead of myself.

1. The basic premise of the story.
2. How the story begins.
3. A vague idea of how it ends.
4. Some REALLY AWESOME BITS that go in the middles somewhere.
5. That's about it.

I like this.

"Omg that sounds good, doitdoitdoit" without really thinking of the consequences; however, said voices are pretty good at giving solutions to the possible plot holes that can surface from impulsive plot ideas.
I have those too. It took me a while, but I finally figured out who the voices were. They were my main OCs telling how they were gonna live there lives.


Just a Person
I plan out the characters, the important parts, and the ending of the story (so I know who and what to center my story around) I add the small parts when writing the rough draft.


~Setting Sail~
At the moment: I have the basics put down, including the general ending. After just a while of consideration, I get to the computer and type along with my thoughts. Most things that're in the story are just things I think up while putting my other thoughts into motion. It's suprisingly easy.


Written Insanity~
I personally can't imagine not planning things out. A truly wonderful story, in my opinion, consists of small hints at what's to come in the future mixed with proper foreshadowing and, at times, references to characters who're yet to pop in to the story. Everything needs to flow well and naturally as you work towards your ultimate goals, and if the only "ultimate goal" you have is the ending, then most of the story, though it may be interesting, won't feel as built up to.

I don't plan every detail of every chapter, for that's rather redundant; it's fun and exciting to see just how things end up the way they are in a story. However, I plan out every major character and when they enter, their back stories, each plot twist I intend to have, major focal points of the fic, when and where my characters will catch specific Pokemon, when they'll fight their rivals and how the outcome will be, how that affects them, etc.

Basically, I plan out each of my characters, plan the plot and how it will affect them, when the plot will occur and when it will affect them, how far the journey should be after a set amount of chapters, how the ending will turn out, and what characters will die and when they will. Then, chapter by chapter, I just sort of... Fill in the blanks between all of those major moments however I please. Fun ideas come in and I'm able to work with those, but it never detracts from the over-all experience and I'm able to weave in foreshadowing and new characters without making it feel too sudden or awkward. That's the style that works for me, at least. If not planning anything ahead except one or two things works for other people, it's their stories and they're more than welcome to. I wish them the best and would love to see how well that works for them.


Well-Known Member
Plan? Hahaha. Good one. I don't plan, it gets in the way of wrighting. Maybe come up wiht the occasional scene or little plot point, but I don't really plan.


Spring is Coming!
I don't think that it matters how much you plan out, but personally I would like to have the ending in mind (or at least possibilities of an ending), and how the conflict will arise and resolve. The other scenes are fillers for me, and they can almost write themselves as you progress from the intro, to the arising conflict, through the conflict, and through to the resolution.

But I do like to have the main scenes at the beginning planned out so I have some idea of where to start and what direction to go into. And I normally get a brief idea of how my characters are going to be. Just names, appearance, and unique traits. Again, the characters will usually write themselves through dialogue and actions once you start writing.


Well-Known Member
I like to plan out my fanfic all the way. At least plan out the very first arc, the characters, the story, the beginning, the ending and everything else. Hell, I just planned out how my Pokemon Black & White adaptation ends and then some.

Planning out everything, especially if the story is elaborate, gives me a true sense of security when I begin writing. That's not to say that not planning out everything is bad, especially if you know what you're doing. Like Akira Toriyama when he wrote Dragon Ball. The comedic series with action evolved into a more serious story with action and it was a real success. Though it was lacking in some area.

But planning out everything so everything is just about perfect is the way to go, if you ask me.


Emerald Mew
I will plan out certain scenes, character details (how I plan to have them grow and maybe a few specific instances that they grow from), and whatever else is nagging at the back of my mind regarding the story before I start writing. I'll also plan the events of a chapter or even a long way ahead in the story.

However, this is before writing. While writing, my characters will say things or better ideas will arise and I'll end up changing parts of my original plan. I plan, but I stay flexible.

As for posting, I doubt I'll feel confident enough in my stories to post it until I've worked on a good number of future chapters so I'm sure I don't change my mind about too many earlier points.


Pokemon Slavedriver
I only plan out important events and characters, mainly to avoid logical errors or forced implementations which can confuse readers. But that's only for longer stories, sometimes I tend to tweak my plans a little if there is something i can use or lose.


A duel well fought..
See, this is where I get stuck. I realize what I want done and what is going to happen where. I know the ending and who is who. Its the small details that frustrate me and keeps me from writing on the fly. It also keeps me from being planning like:

Devon went to Pallet Town, meets Tonya, gets kicked in a head by a horse, chokes to death on a tire.

Because then I have to connect the dots, and I guess, that is where I really get stuck.

So I try to use both kinds, but also don't really use either. If that makes sense.


No. 1 Grovyle Fan
Back in the day, I barely planned my fanfic at all. I used to write by the seat of my pants. But now, I found out that planning out a decent amount beforehand actually helps me a bit. So I'm trying to do that now.


Petals and Leaves
In my current Star Wars fanfic I'm planning everything from beginning to end. Of course I'm still thinking of a plot right now. lol


Well-Known Member
With the end in mind. I usually think it'll last a couple of chapters, then it becomes a story that seem to have absolutely no end.


Wigglytuff Guild recruit
As much as I can, at least regarding the big picture and medium details, think of the smallest stuff later.

Part of it is deploying my favorite literary trope: the Chekhov's gun. And I like to do it a lot (so it's more of an [URL="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChekhovsArmoury]armoury[/URL])


Well-Known Member
I plot a basic story line in my head or write it down and come up with three or four main characters. I sometimes plan the whole of the prologue or Chapter 1 before writing


<3 Games Section
For me, I write a short summary of every section, and once I have done the story, or quite a lot of it, I'll fill it out, make one sentence into a paragraph, a page or even a chapter, I like to know where I'm going instead of making it up along as I go.