HOW DO YOU PLAN OUT YOUR STORY?
Molly asked... How do you plan out your story?
I start with a basic idea. Here's an Example: A friend of mine met me at one of the ACFW conferences and asked me if I'd like to be in an anthology collection with her. She gave me the basic idea. "This is a story about women and/or men who collect Christmas items and how they fall in love by Christmas. We brainstormed what our characters could collect while at conference, mine collects Christmas Ornaments. Then we went home to "work" on our stories.
In this case I pulled from my own life. I wanted my heroine to collect cute animal themed Christmas ornaments. Here's where my life comes in: I collect Charming Tails figurines. And I've toyed with writing a series of Christian children's books using those cute little characters. So it only made sense to me that my heroine would collect Christmas Critters Ornaments and have the same goals as me. To write Christian children's books about the Christmas Critters. By the way, Christmas Critters Ornaments are my own creation and are not a part of the Charming Tails line.
From there I plan my books with questions: What is keeping my character from reaching her/his goal? How can she/he overcome those obstacles? I list 25 things I want to happen in the book. I may or may not use those things but listing 25 gives me a nice store house to pull from to create scenes to reach the goal and over come the obstacles in her/his path.
That is how I plan a book. As I ask the hard questions, work on scenes, and strive to win the prize (the goal that has been set) the story takes shape and I begin working on the synopsis. The synopsis is the plan/guide I use then to write out the book.
The example I used above is from my latest sale. A novella titled, STUCK ON YOU.
Molly, I hope this answers your question.