Plot, Theme, Summary - And all that complicated stuff...

Hello everyone! This is going to be a quick post. I am currently writing a monster of a research paper that has kept me confined to the books all weekend.

Anywho - Happy Monday!

I have been inspired by some Shakespeare this week. Okay, well... not really Shakespeare but a Shakespeare assignment. My professor asks us to fill out play checklists after reading each play. I think that some of these questions are perfect for creative writing.

When we are planning to write a short story, novella, or novel, we need to be able to answer the following questions quickly.

  1. Who are the impact characters of your story?
  2. What is the main setting and time period of your story?
  3. What are the thematic concerns?
  4. What is the plot?
  5. What is the summary of the story?
After answering these questions, we also need to be able to break the summary up into major events. This creates a working outline.

  1. The Beginning
  2. The first major event/problem
  3. The climax/the most important major event
  4. Another major event/problem
  5. Conclusion
This outline should be pretty easy to sum up if you've thought a lot about your story. You should also be able to reflect and answer these questions for anything that you've written in the past. Of course, this outline can become really complicated when you get to longer pieces (esp. novels).

Answering these questions can help us focus our thoughts about our stories, before ever beginning to write. Ideas will develop more throughout the writing process, but it's good to know where you're going and how you plan on getting there.

I plan on posting more about all of these things in the future. These are the rocks in the foundation of our writing, and we don't need to take them lightly.

Hopefully, this is an exercise that you can use to help focus your writing. I know it sure is helping me.

Read you later. :)


Evie said...

Hi Vanessa ;)
GREAT blog :) I'm following you, please stop by my blog and follow back if you like it :)
Evie @ Bookish

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stacey@thewritetomakealiving said...

Thanks for this post Vanessa. Sometimes the hardest part of writing is getting started...that seems to be the place where I'm stuck at the moment. I am going to give this exercise a try.

Following from Book Blogs, great blog...glad I stopped by.

Vanessa K. Eccles said...

Evie- I'm following. :)
Stacey- I appreciate your support, and I hope the exercise helps. I'm following you too.

Ivana Watkins said...

Great blog... I'll definitely stick around

Kelly Hashway said...

Hi, Vanessa. I found you through Book Blogs. Great post. I look forward to stopping back.