Saturday, 24 January 2015

Planning Your Story (Guest Post)

Good morning everyone!

Today we have another guest post by Summer Lane, author of the lovely apocalyptic novella Day Zero. She's here to talk to you about planning your story!

Synopsis: Elle is a survivor.
Since the collapse of modern society, she's been living in the remains of downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.
And then everything changes.
After she is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds is a group of bunker survivors, unlikely comrades, and the hope of a safe haven. Together, they journey toward the dregs of civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.
They are alone, but they are ready.
Day Zero begins today.


Guest Post: I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen, and at the time, I was the kind of writer who made everything up as I went along. That was all fine and dandy, until I realized that certain plot elements such as foreshadowing were seriously lacking. Many years – and many novels – later I realized that my favorite way to write a story was to do a little pre-planning. It was fun, simple and extremely beneficial to the plot-building process.

I am currently busy writing two series, with a third in the background. All of my series interconnect, so planning and foreshadowing and plotting my novels in advance is perhaps the most important part of the storytelling process for me. I am releasing the fifth installment in The Collapse Series, State of Alliance, on January 30th, 2015. The motivations and moves of the main characters, Cassidy Hart and Chris Young, have been planned and charted and carefully discussed. The Zero Trilogy (the second installment, Day One, releases in March 2015) ties into The Collapse Series, weaving two separate and distinct tales together, which requires a lot of planning in advance.

My planning process has become a carefully structured thing, where I sit down at the beginning of each new book and chart out the general plot points of the book that I am about to write. I do this with a team of people who work closely on the series with me, and we take those plot points, grow them, and interconnect them in different ways. I make sure that I know – at the very beginning of the book – where my characters are going in their growth process.

I firmly believe that planning and plotting in advance is integral to writing and maintaining a good series. Because a series takes readers through such a long period of time and the characters show a lot of change, it’s of the utmost importance that you make the world in which your story is set believable and detailed. It should be as real as the world that you and I live in – maybe even more so.

Author Bio:
Summer Lane is the author of the international bestselling YA/NA Romantic Adventure novels of The Collapse Series and The Zero Trilogy. She is an experienced publicist, creative writing teacher and lover of all things feline. 

Summer owns WB Publishing, a digital publishing company devoted to releasing exciting survival and adventure stories. Summer is also the creator of the online magazine/blog, Writing Belle. She works as a journalist for Traffic Magazine, as well.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her time writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, watching movies, reading, and visiting the beach or the mountains.  
 
 


Contact Email: summerlane101@gmail.com

Olivia's Question: Are you someone who plans what they do before they do it?

Olivia-Savannah x

26 comments:

  1. Planning definitely is cool...although I do think it depends on the writer and what they feel most comfortable with. I'm sure no one writes with exactly the same process, right?! I, for one, USED to plan meticioulslcy and now I barely plan at all. It made writing more fun for me. Although I DO detail the book in notes and plot points afterwards and stick it on my wall so I don't forget what I've done/said. x)
    Fabulous post!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. I am someone who plans little for some writing and a lot for some others! But I like the freedom you allow yourself in planning and I am glad it works for you!

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  2. Discovering Summer Lane's writing process was really fascinating and I enjoyed reading her entire guest post. Also, Day Zero looks very interesting and I'm definitely going to check that out. :)

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    1. Day Zero was a pretty quick but good read! I hope you like that one when you get to it :)

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  3. Great post. xox

    http://www.rainbowsandunicornsblog.co.uk/2015/01/technic-nail-polish-review-january-2015.html

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  4. Hi Olivia - Thanks for this series about writing. I really appreciate what I'm learning from your guests. :)

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    1. I am glad you are able to learn something from it!

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  5. It is always interesting to see how authors tackle the writing process. It can be such a bear, but anything that eases the way for writers is welcome information.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Mary! Yes, the writing process can be a troublesome one, but with the right advice I think a lot of people can get the guidance they need!

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  6. Series can definitely be tough. If you don't document everything as you go (or before you write), you end up spending hours going back over previous books for little details. It can get really complicated.

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    1. Oh yes, I agree! You need to keep track of notes when it comes to series.

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  7. Hi Olivia!
    How are you? Your blog is so nice.
    I would love to chat some more with you :)

    Myra from http://imlovingbooks.blogspot.nl/2015/01/january-bookhaul.html

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Myra! It was great to discover your blog as well.

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  8. I love that she focuses on world-building, that is a hard thing for some writers and take down the entire book if it isn't done well!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Yes, world building is very important to making a good novel!

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  9. Cool guest post! I feel so pathetic now. I haven't worked on my books in a long while, because I've been so busy and frankly because they are in such dreadful shape. Maybe one of these days I'll make a detailed plot outline and start from scratch with a new novel. Or maybe I'll edit one of my old novels and try to get it published. Or, most likely, I'll do neither and continue to ignore the fact that I haven't written a wird of fiction in months. Instead, I spend my time reviewing other peoples' fiction!

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    1. Well, hopefully you can get around to creating your own very soon! I am sure with some work on planning and editing of what you do have, you can get there :)

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  10. I quite like the planning process and I also really need at least a little bit of planning or I will end up somewhere else than I intended to, which hardly ever benefits the story, haha.

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    1. Yes, planning is so much fun! You have to be careful not to overdo it though, or you might feel used up and have no motivation ^.^

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  11. I like to at least have a basic plan before I start. I try to map out the characters and get to know them, so they feel more real to me. I also like to write down what will happen and what the setting is like. Sometimes things change along the way, but I having the preplanning done helps my writing to not only flow, but I can add in some elements like foreshadowing. :) Great to hear from Summer!
    ~Jess

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    1. A basic plan is good because you can always expand on it later! I like the idea of having characters that are real to you as well. It seems like you have a very good grasp on planning already!

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  12. I usually am pretty good at planning my character development, but not so much the actual plot. I mean I sort of have a vague idea of what the endgame is, but it often doesn't turn out the way I thought it would. I probably should plan more, but I have I hard time with it and just get stuck. You can always add foreshadowing during revisions, too.

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    1. I would agree by saying that some certain aspects are easier to plan than others! I am sure that with time you will gradually get better at planning :)

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  13. This post is very helpful because I'm in the process of improving my writing. So hearing what other writers thought process and how to write from beginning to end is very interesting. I'm also a planner and plan everything to a T. However, writing is something i can't ever seem to plan an end.

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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    1. Some things are much easier to plan than others! Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully this will help you improve that writing :)

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