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.

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