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Thread: Advice to those writing long stories(especially if using multiple POV's)

  1. #11
    I'm having trouble similar to what OP describes. Thanks for your ideas. That's the kind of think I was looking for when I came here.

  2. #12
    Wow the first one comes in handy for me. I have to urge to write everything at random and just write write write(esp. with nanorimo atm) and I noticed that in chapter 1 it was November and in chapter 2 October and in Chapter 5 November again, so no I'm not very good with time related things. Thanks a lot, helped big time! Also number 4, but I don't know if I'm going to do it basically because I'm lazy and I kind of do these kind of things in Scrivener, but I might!

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kevinbgwrites View Post
    ...I know this might not be a terribly profound process, but random as it is, it was just what I needed. Let me know how it works for you, or if you have questions!
    These are the sorts of suggestions one might find in decent books on writing that discusses "epic" storylines. Nicely done!

    Index cards.. These are still sold in stores for a reason - They're useful! Index cards not only provide you a spot to write down ideas, but you can manipulate them! You can sit on the floor and spread out a whole fishbone diagram of index cards and then start swapping them around, trying to find the best spot to insert a character, idea, sub-plot, scene, whatever.. And, you can judge for yourself how the sequence flows, just by looking at how your index cards are lined up. It's a nice way to physically interact with your creation without having to use an eraser.

    For myself, I use notebooks and word-processor docs as well as a file-structure to organize things. I don't use index cards, but do use a sort of visual system to manipulate elements of the story. I just don't use index cards because my handwriting is atrocious and is even offensive to me...

    In the spirit of offering something, here's a suggestion: Maps.

    Maps are helpful. Most everything you write is going to take place in some sort of physical space that you're going to have to reference. The more "epic" a story, with multiple characters, many locations and expanded over a great amount of time, the more a simple map can help. It doesn't have to be detailed, but it should at least have references presented on it that are relatively accurate in scale, time, place, etc.. That way, your character traveling to the Big City won't take three days to get there from one location and then two weeks to get there, again, from the same location... In stories that aren't epic in scope, this usually isn't an issue. But, if you've got five major cities, a number of towns, fifteen different characters, three major battles, fifteen skirmishes and a partridge in a pear tree, it helps to have a reference handy so you'll remember where the pear tree is.

    However, it's also worth noting that some sorts of "epic" stories might not benefit much from a map. But, IMO, those are usually stories that have an epic flavor, but don't experience a lot of physical separation between their characters. The more spread out your points of view in space, the more you could probably benefit from making a simple map.

  4. #14
    I've exercised pretty much every tip you listed in my past, and so far, it's all been proven useful. I'm a note keeper. I take notes on EVERYTHING.

    I have what I affectionately refer to as "plot binders." Due to my carpal tunnel, I can't write on paper or at the computer for an extended amount of time, but I can jump back and forth between the two with relative care. I do most of my actual story content on the computer, but I do a lot of my character information, chapter ideas, possible ideas to play with, and personality quirks. I don't have to write a lot, but I like to keep up with things I may forget. What if I'm writing about a student? I don't want to create a possible plot hole by randomly changing her schedule to afternoon classes when earlier in the novel I clearly stated that she only had morning classes.

    Different things work for different people. I would never work with index cards, simply because after all the vocabulary memorization from high school, I got tired of organizing all of the cards. It's not necessarily the function I disagree with, but my inability to keep up with them. I prefer a tabbed, organized binder.

  5. #15
    Member BreakingMyself's Avatar
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    Some great advice, I'm sure it will come in handy to keep my writing on track.

  6. #16
    I am writing a story with several POVs right now and I was just kinda going with the flow and seeing where the characters would take me (and it's my first written story ever, so imagine the mess). I think I will try the different advises I read here. Not sure about index cards, since I type faster then I write, but the idea sitting down and trying to do an outline of the story and the chapters, as well as breaking them down by character sounds appealing... and also a lot of work (which is a bit scary). But I think that if I try to structure the mess in my head a bit, it will help me in the long run. So big Thank you for the advise!

  7. #17
    Member Shadoe's Avatar
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    I usually like structure. I also write long pieces with several characters. Lots of notes really does help.

    I do all my outlines in Excel and Notepad. No index cards.
    Skittering Widdershins in a Deosil World...

  8. #18
    I find this kind of stuff distracts me from the story itself. Then again, I am easily distracted.
    Sleep is for the weak, or sleep is for a week.
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    I write about anime and internet culture at Hidden Content

  9. #19
    This is by and far the best advice I've read since I landed here a week ago. And it doesn't seem to me to be restricted to different POVs either.
    My first book (non-fiction) was totally written off the cuff. I planned the chapter titles and then I just went with the flow.
    Book number two (fiction) I planned out with Free Mind. Or so I thought. Then along comes about a million little conflicts and issues that slow down the writing process. And I am dealing with multiple POVs so a very relevant thread for me.
    To sum it up - your process is your own - everyone (those that believe in planning, some don't) has to develop a methodology for oulining their book.
    My next effort will have ten times the planning and twenty times the research.
    Moral is - the more you plan the less you have to think at the time of writing about anything except the words with which you paint your picture.
    Cool post.

    D.G.B.
    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
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  10. #20
    I am glad that you found the article helpful.

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