Thursday, 12 February 2015

So You've Caught Your Bunny: What Now?

Thursday, 12 February 2015

{The Ideas We Carve}

Let's take this monthly theme literally. Imagine your idea. Not just that one amazing scene or that incredible first sentence or that really, really, really awesome character - the whole thing. It's pretty huge, right? But don't be afraid! I know that if I try to think about a wild, fresh out of the oven idea in its entirety, I can get intimidated. Where do you start with something so huge? 

You carve it up.

I like to use a certain structuring method for my bunnies. It's more of a formula than a method, but hey ho. Semantics. My method/formula has three main components: characters, plot and individual chapters. Hopefully you take something from this post, and maybe it might even be useful. Shall we?

*   *   *

When I say that I structure my characters, I mean that I give them more depth. First I flesh them out. What are their mannerisms and habits? Their likes and dislikes? Back story? Not all of this has to be used in your project but I think that knowing this stuff will help you understand your character and their motivations much better. This in turn leads to more believable writing. Ya welcome, boo.

Part B of my character structuring formula is planning their development throughout the story. I like to make plans keeping in mind my bunny's beginning, middle, and end. Or, as I like to think of it, the intro, problem, and solution. Sure, these could probably be divided into sub-components, but I like things to go in threes, as you'll see. To do this, you'll probably need to have already completed your plot plan (I'll talk about this next). If you have your plot prepared, match your character up to the three main events or parts.

Think about how your character would react to the things that happen in these sections, and consider how this will affect the way they think and behave after that point. I find that this is super helpful for making sure that my plot and characters are perfectly synchronised. I'm a very character-based writer, so if they don't line up perfectly I can change the plot to suit the character's actions. If you're a plot-based writer you can change your character's reactions to suit the plot that you want to write. This process makes for a very smooth story!

As I mentioned, I like to structure things in threes. That includes my plot. I work out the main events of my beginning (intro), the main events of my middle (conflict) and the main events of my end (solution). If I have the most important points of my plot down, I can fill in the gaps and make everything connect as I go. This allows for a lot of flexibility while still being able to have the security of a basic structure.

The third component of my structuring method is to plot out my chapters. Sometimes I do this before I start actually writing the story, and other times I do it as I go. Either way, I follow the same steps pretty much every time. I use the same beginning/intro, middle/conflict, end/solution formula. I don't stick to this rigidly - nor do I think that anyone should for any of the tips I've given in this post - but if I'm struggling to plan out a chapter I find that using this really helps me.

*   *   *

So those are the ways that I like to flesh out my plot bunnies. I hope that this post has been helpful. As always, happy writing. And may the ramen be ever in stock.


No comments:

Post a Comment