Does your draft remain partial? Are there holes and inconsistencies? Trafford Publishing Author’s Corner has put together a ten-step method to make sure your story lacks discrepancies for a comprehensive first draft. No need to worry if your ten steps are not perfect, the motive here is to get the creative juices flowing. You can always go back and alter things, as your first draft won’t be until the end of the ten steps….
1. Single sentence. Start off by writing a single-sentence summary of your novel.
2. Develop on the sentence. The next step is to expand the sentence from step 1 into a paragraph describing the plot line, any important events and especially the ending.
3. Characters. From here you must think about your characters. Write a one page outline for each character. Here are a few things for you to consider when summarizing your characters:
- Again, write a single sentence for the characters storyline.
- What is the character’s impetus? (Theoretical incentives).
- What is the character’s goal? (Concrete objective or purpose).
- What are the obstacles your character will have to overcome to achieve his or her goal?
- What insight or revelations will the character learn along the way? How will this change the character for the better?
- Now turn the one sentence storyline for each character into a one-paragraph storyline.
4. Expand Step 2. Go back to step number 2 and expand each sentence within the paragraph into a paragraph of its own. Take your time with step. Remember the more hiccups along the way, the more suspenseful for the reader – make sure the majority of your paragraphs here end in misfortune (except of course your final paragraph). Write about a page for this step.
5. Character’s viewpoint. This step will help you think the way your characters think. Write one page for each character telling the storyline from the point of view of the character.
6. Expand step 4. Expand your 1 page plot outline from step 4 into a four page synopsis.
7. Expand step 3. Expand your 1 page character outlines into character charts. This will help enable your characters to become complete.
8. Expand your 4 page synopsis. Make a list of every scene you will need in your novel from your synopsis in step 6.
9. Description of your scenes. From the previous step, write a narrative of up to a page for each scene.
10. Write your first draft!