How to Plan Your Next Writing Project
Like any endeavor in life or business, in writing, a good end result is often attributed to a good starting plan. Just to sit down and to start to write can be effective as a jumping off point to figure out what your ideas are. But once you’ve put your main ideas into words, take some time to plan how those ideas relate to your main point and how the relate to each other. This process will help to ensure the composition flows from one sentence, one paragraph, or one chapter to the next.
What are you REALLY trying to say?
When you know the main point of each section in your composition, then it’s easier to determine what needs to go where, what to keep and what to cut, and how much time to spend on each topic or scene. Everything that doesn’t move toward the main idea can go.
What arrangement is most effective?
In an instructional or academic work, you might dedicate a chapter to each main topic you want to cover. For example, in an article about types of military jets, you use a section for fighter planes, a section for interceptors, and a section for bombers. Then once you’ve explained what fighters, interceptors, and bombers are, you can then explain how a fighter’s characteristics differs from an interceptor’s or how some jets have the characteristics of both bombers and fighters.
In a short narrative work, you might only have one main scene. But within that scene you can break away from the narrative to explain the action. In a longer work with several scenes, you can dedicate a chapter to each main scene. Putting them in order will depend on chronology and dramatic effect. Keep in mind that your order will likely change as you write and revise.
How much space do you need?
The amount of page space you need is directly related to your topic and focus. For instructional works, you need enough space to introduce the subject, outline the main points in brief, explain them with examples, and then summate your purpose again in conclusion. In a narrative work, like fiction or memoir, you need enough space to thoroughly flesh out a scene, portray the action, and communicate your ideas and themes.
Planning Your Next Project
About the Author: Melinda Copp is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and book editor who specializes in helping aspiring authors reach their writing goals. Sign up for her free e-zine at www.FINALLYwriteabook.com, and get a free special report!
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