Do I need a plot as a writer? This worries a great number of young writers. Some writers are used to devising a detailed story outline before making their first draft. Others just start writing and the story is created literally on the go. It doesn’t matter what approach you choose, it should work best for you.
Ideas tend to come to your mind when you go for a walk. Sure, there’s something relaxing and hypnotic in the rhythm of your feet hitting. Just ten minutes of this simple procedure and your mind starts to freewheel and ideas begin to pop up.
Take advantage of a small story notebook. Carry it with you all the time, so you could jot down worthy ideas as they arise, and they can come to your mind at any time. When waiting for a bus, sitting on a train and so on – these are good times to think about the upcoming story. In this case you actually don’t need to make a huge effort. Let your mind freewheel and you’ll see amazing results. Once you obtain one good idea, others will follow in a quick session. That’s why a tiny notebook should always be at hand. By the way, once your ideas are written down, you can forget about them, thus causing a releasing effect for your brain.
What about making the most of mood music? That’s another powerful writing technique. No one denies that any story firstly requires a special atmosphere, not to mention a variety of moods for every scene. If it’s difficult for you to find the right atmosphere for your scene, try to listen to atmospheric music before writing. For instance, a soundtrack from a horror movie or dark metal songs might help you to give birth to a scary scene.
A rough draft will never harm your story. Here you require writing the scene as functionally as possible. You simply need to join up all the dots getting your scene the beginning to the end. Connect the crucial actions in a fictional way. Nevertheless, having any words on a page is much better than an empty page. When you finish the complete story, you can rewrite bad sections, thus making them better.
One of the best ways to come up with brilliant ideas is to conduct some research. In this case a writer researches his story by visiting corresponding places and reading books. You can deeply research your characters by simply observing people around you. Some writers prefer doing their story research after they have come up with a clear outline. You won’t lose if you follow their example.
If you’re out of good ideas, you can delegate a half of your job to a partner. So, we’re talking about co-writing. In fact, working with a partner or editor is a great way of generating material for your story. Two brains can’t be worse than one, however, it’s not easy to create a steady writing partnership.
Robert McKee offers a resulting technique for turning any story around. To cut a long story short, you should think about the best possible thing that could happen to your character now. Then, think how it could be transformed into the worst scenario for him or her. You can also do vice versa – at first start thinking about the worst scenario for your hero and then gradually transform it into a better opportunity.
There’s another revolutionary writing technique. Well, if you’re unable to find a proper solution to your story problem, maybe you’d better try not to solve it at all. Yes, try to cycle through variants that won’t solve the situation. Really, why on earth should you character discover this particular secret? Maybe it would be much better for the story if he or she fail to do this. This brilliant approach to writing will show you a problem in a new light, and you most likely see an unusual way to solve it. You can also take your story to a different place and there you’ll find an alternative way out of the problem. After all, by simply refusing to solve the story problem, you’ll make it more dramatic and intriguing.
If you still don’t know how to get your hero out of the problem, let other characters intervene unexpectedly. For instance, they may cause a disaster and this will oddly generate a brilliant solution to the story problem. However, your story will benefit more if the main character makes an unexpected intervention by himself.