Plot Bunny to Outline (My Personal Five-Step Process)

If you follow me on Twitter @authorjadeyoung (shameless self-promotion), you might know that I'm pushing my current WIP aside and working on a new WIP for NaNoWriMo. I'm not going to reveal what that new WIP is about yet but be on the lookout for an upcoming blog post soon where I'll talk about it a little more. However, with NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I wanted to jump on here and describe how I take my plot bunnies or story ideas and turn them into something beautiful. 

1.     The Eureka Moment (A Plot Bunny is Born!): For me, ideas are usually born at night, while at work, or while doing something mundane like cooking or washing dishes. A lot of my eureka moments happen in extremely random instances. I could overhear a conversation in Starbucks, be people watching while grocery shopping, or simply be in the shower and then...

2.     Inspiration Hits!: In this case of my new WIP, I was out to dinner with friends, overheard a conversation at another table, and the idea just hit me. So, like any other perfectly sane normal person (*coughs* writer/author/weaver of words *cough*) I...

3.     Write it Down!: Or in this case, quickly grab my phone out of my bag, go the notes app on my phone, and type it down. After the night ended, and I was home, I went to my office so I could grab my notebook appropriately titled "Ideas." Then I plopped on the floor and wrote every single detail I could think of for this potential WIP. Ideas just flowed. I didn't stop to consider if something was stupid or pointless, I just wrote. Eventually, after I had written a page of notes relating to this idea, I sat down to...

4.     Decide if it's Worth it: I'm already more than 40k into my current WIP and I think that book is pretty awesome. But with my busy schedule, I can't write or focus on two WIPs at the same time. This new WIP was going to take a lot of research and time if I wanted to write it correctly, so I needed to decide if I wanted to put it aside until a later time or put my current WIP aside instead. This is usually the part of the process where my doubt starts to creep in too. I looked at my notes, and I wondered if I was worthy enough to write this, skilled enough to write this, and if I had the time and emotional energy to write this. To help me gauge if starting a new WIP was worth it I decided to start researching the novel. I looked at my ideas, pulled up Google, and spent about an hour and a half on research. In the end, I had about four pages of notes. And that was the moment I...

5.     Got Serious: I decided this story needed to be written and that I was going to write it. At this point, I pulled out my worksheets that I typically use when starting a new WIP, such as a character sketching one and a plot building one. (Yes, I'm a proud Plotter!) I started with the MC that I was envisioning, wrote down everything I could about her, and then I went on Pinterest and found some images I could attach to her Scrivener file. When I was satisfied with that, I moved onto a little bit of plot building, mainly focusing on my novel's inciting incident, conflict, and climax.

And that's where I'm at now. I have a fully fleshed out MC and the basis for a plot. I'll be dedicating this month, Prep-tober, to researching, outlining, and writing down snippets of scenes that come to me when I'm in the shower, falling asleep, or at work. But that excitement; the thrill of starting something new...

IT'S JUST SO ADDICTING!!!!

Note: I haven't given up on my other WIP. I won't actively be writing it for the time being, but ideas are still flowing, and if inspired to write, I will write a chapter or two from time to time. However, my desire lies with this new WIP, and I'm excited to take you guys along for the ride.

Happy Writing!

-Jade

I've created a helpful NaNoWriMo Word Count Tracker to help you keep track of your word count goals. You can download your copy by clicking the image above.

I've created a helpful NaNoWriMo Word Count Tracker to help you keep track of your word count goals. You can download your copy by clicking the image above.