writing questions

by abdelmajid
(Morocco, Oued-zem)

Question: How to develop from the plot outline to the paragraph?

Answer: Let's say you have a solid plot outline, with all your major events briefly described.

In the writing process, you take one event at a time and you describe it in detail. In the outline, an event may be described very simply and generally, as in (for example), "Bob escapes from prison."

In the writing, you must describe this event step-by-step in much richer detail, so that the reader can picture it happening in his mind and grasp the significance of the event.

Describing an event like this could take anywhere from a single paragraph to an entire book, since there is no limit to the amount of detail you could include. You have to decide if this event will be one small event in a story, a major event, a sequence, or an entire book. Will it be one scene or many? In fact, you could conceivably create an entire series of books that describe this one event.

As you describe this event, you will be answering all kinds of questions about it, such as ...

Why does it happen?
Who is involved?
Where does it happen? (the precise environment)
How does it begin?
How is it accomplished, step-by-step?
What obstacles must be overcome?
What surprises happen along the way?
How are the challenges overcome (or not)?
What is the outcome of the event?

For example, you might start out describing Bob's situation in prison, including his thoughts and feelings, so the reader understands his desire to escape. You might show his planning and preparation. Or you might simply begin at the moment he puts his plan into action and describe how it happens.

As the writer, you have a lot of choice in how you describe each event in your outline. You have to decide how much space to devote to each event, according to its importance and what you feel will make a good story.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero