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How do you write your novel? Do you dive right into writing it, or plan outline and characters profile first?


Have you finished a novel using one of those methods? Which worked better for you and why?

Or which is working better for you, if you're still writing your novel, can you tell me if you'd tried more than one methods?

17 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do a combination of both.

    The idea hits and I begin writing (or typing). When I hit a wall or a stop then I go back and really flesh out the characters, get to know the who, what, where, when, how and why of them and their lives. I research their town, locale, setting, clothing choices, character profiling, family history, name origins, employment choices, health, vacation spots... All of this research opens up the next part of the story and begins to drive my characters and before you know it I'm off and writing again. During the writing I take moments to add into the profile any idiosynchracies like hair twisting, glasses pushing, nail biting. I may also note where they are emotionally at that moment, something clever they said or a foreshadowing moment so I don't forget to close out that detail at the end of the manuscript.

    I have completed and published two novels the first is superior because I wrote organically. Following the characters and telling their story. The second one I outlined so much that it was a chore for me to write and didn't come out nearly as well.

    I think in the future I need just a little skeleton of an outline with information to utilize if I get to a stop and to add to it as I write the story so I can locate information I've put in.

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  • J
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I plan the outline, create character profiles, and mold the universe first. At least with a rough draft. Then I go into writing. I make corrections to any of the things as needed.

    I am in the process of writing a novel using this method and it works great! I tried other styles (mostly because I had to in creative writing) and I felt empty. Like so much background information was missing. My writing was confused and I did not have anything to reference for internal consistency. I couldn't stand it.

    Source(s): reader/writer/aspiring filmmaker
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  • 10 years ago

    Personally I dive into them most of the time. This is because usually, I have a sudden idea or dream about a certain scene and I'll picture it so clearly, I'll then write it. I usually find that in writing it, the rest of the novel's storyline becomes clearer - although not nessecarily completely clear and I can work out what built up to the particular scene.

    I do, however, sometimes plan out my entire storyline before writing it, not entirely sure why I change how I do it... just do it the way that is most natural for you and the particular novel you're writing :)

    Hope I helped!

    If I did, could you possibly answer my question?;_ylt=AuGtn...

    Don't worry if you don't want to! :)

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I think it is different for everyone. I have done both but there is always an element of planning even if it is only in your head. I planned and wrote a novel called The Square and still hadn't thought of an ending after 70,000 words. In addition some of the things I had planned to put in it did not happen because everything changed as I began writing. Go with whatever you are comfortable with but research is never a bad thing. Good luck with your writing.

    Source(s): Experience.
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  • 4 years ago

    Yup, I always do profiles. It's really important that you know your characters. You should add things like goals, greatest achievement and worst embarrassment. Flaws could be things like a fear of spiders or darkness. A lazy eye, a limb that has a tendency to pop apart. Maybe they are colour blind or are deaf in one ear. They should be things that are minor (or sometimes major) that can cause problems for the character later on in the story. It makes for an interesting plot, and makes it more believable. I'm thirteen as well! I've started writing a novel, but I have motivation troubles :c

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I just jump right in--if the plot and storyline isn't too complex.

    For my 300,000+ word novels, it takes a little doing and some outlining. But in the end--over several years or longer--the book gets done.

    It's *convincing* others--that such a feat can be done--that is the problem. Many have it in their minds that writing beyond 80,000 words or 100,000 is impossible these days--because the industry says so.

    I have three 300,000+ word novels that say otherwise--with many more on the way.

    Never...*never* let anyone else say that it can't be done.

    Because it can.

    If anyone says that it can't be published, ask them, "Why not?"

    A book is a book. It's not set in stone and it's not something that can be dictated. It has to be created, invented, restructured, and then *built*.

    Whoever says it can't be done are only denying themselves one of life's fewest pleasures and greatest rewards.

    In the end, it's not about the money, the fame, or the recognition. It's about a job well done.

    Even if it takes you years to accomplish it.

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  • .
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    RICHELLE MEADE (Vampire Academy) says she writes an outline of each of her major characters & then a plot outline of her book. She says with that she has some sort of direction. She said her first book was an "800 page epic" because she had no real direction with the story, so from that point on she started doing outlines. The following is Ms. Meade's 2 minute interview.

    Youtube thumbnail


    The following is another 2 minute interview with her briefly discussing Vampire Academy.

    Youtube thumbnail


    Below is also a good-size Charlie Rose interview with author Alice Sebold discussing how she wrote THE LOVELY BONES, how long it took & her preparation....


    Above is just an example. I "Googled" "Writing An Outline For Your Novel" & several links came up. You can decide if you want to use that help. I did and it worked wonders for me.

    I wrote the beginning of my book & the ending and then filled in the middle like a sandwich. It was sooooo much easier with the ending done, so I knew where I was going:D

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


    Firstly I wanted to write free-flow, without any constraints and painstaking planning, but that was an utter disaster. With short stories I normally free-flow, but with novels it's harder, because you can easily face writers block with this method and create many plot holes.

    So then I tried another method. I wrote a brief - one paragraph to sum up the story, and then I expanded, I wrote a chapter summary - only with the KEY notes. I did allow myself to be flexible with it, it was more of a guide than a structure.

    With character profiles, I usually just mess around with them to get an idea of my characters. Just write down names and facts that can help me identify there appearance, basic facts and personality - not unnecessary details.

    And yes, I've used this method and has worked for me very well. I haven't tried any others

    ~ JLT

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  • 10 years ago

    I kind of do both

    first i write out a scene i see in my head and just write and write until i hit a wall

    if my writing sounds good then i keep going but most of the time my writing falls flat and then i have to reavaluate my story line. I make sure my characher's have flaws and what im writing doesn't go off in tangents. I ususally can plan a story out in my head but once i have a great idea i write it down because i could get quite forgetful at time.

    Do what you feel most comfortable with and trust me you'll know

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    It really depends on what is comfortable for you.

    I personally start writing when I have an idea. (I always start with prologues.) Then I think about what i want to happen and what the conclusion will be like. I write those down somewhere so I don't forget them.

    After all that, I write, write, write!

    P.S. (I tried to write a story without any planning; I turned out that I got stuck and threw it away.)

    Source(s): My Personal Experience
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