Part 3: What is the set-up for a story?

Part 3: What is the set-up for a story?

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When you’re done with creating a plot, a main character, antagonist and the other characters, and a setting, the most important thing now is making a plan. This could very well be a schedule with the times when you’re going to write, or a specific plan for each chapter in which you write down the scenarios and chronology.

If you work in a community full of writers, for example the cabins you’re put in when you decide to try Camp NaNoWriMo, they can motivate you to continue writing. One specific writing site,, has a new concept and you can become a mentor or someone who wants a mentor. The mentor chooses the person they want to help and then you have a mentor who can motivate you, check your story and give tips to create a better storyline or better characters and they can check your grammar and spelling. This way the mentor gives the writer a deadline and a specific amount of words and the writer needs to send this to the mentor in time. More words are always good, but it should at least be the amount the mentor set. By doing this, you need to hand it in so you need to keep writing, otherwise you’ll be scolded by your mentor.

Another concept NaNoWriMo, quizlet and other writing communities use is the word-wars. Quizlet has a topic with specific times, but a user can always ask to do a word-war between the times that have been set. Quizlet descrives it as trying to win a fight. You try to write as much as you can in one hour and by doing this, you try to defeat the other participants. Most people have to work really hard to write a few words and to continue a story. This is why the site has the word-war topic.

For the more disciplined writer, you can create your own time schedule. For example, you use excel to make a scheme. On Tuesday, you are going to write from four o’clock until half past five. Then you’re going to take a break and make dinner and from seven o’clock until 9 o’clock you’re going back to writing again. This is something that students do when they are going to study, and the same thing happens: both the students and the writers don’t always follow it and sometimes, the entire schedule was a waste of time. Nevertheless, for some people it works.

In addition to a planning for time, you have your storyguide. This is a chapter by chapter planning. You write down the most important things that should happen in a specific chapter and you can always change this to make one of the events happen in a next chapter or to split the last event up. Most writers like this, because if you just write what comes to mind at the moment you’re busy, you might reach the point where you have no idea how to go on. Following a schedule is therefore better. You can of course let your inspiration run wild a bit, but if you have your beginning, end and the main events, the story is more likely to succeed.


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