My personal experience about writing the plots and ideas in general could be summed up with one word: lengthy.
This is how it usually worked for me, I get a new idea (Day One). Let’s say for example, you’re busy with your everyday life, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, really, a particular event catches your attention. And writer’s instinct tells you, ‘That is so cool. I want that to be part of my story!’ Next thing you do: WRITE IT DOWN. Grab a pen (always, always have a pen with you all the time; this is very important) and the nearest paper near you (this involves grocery paper bags, receipts, coupons, flyers, tissue paper if all else fails). Before the moment gets lost, be sure that you have written it somewhere. Or really, let’s not exaggerate it, use your phone and jot it down. Problem solved. Don’t trust your memory so much. It has its own limit, especially if you’re like me. I forget everything.
(Day 2 and 3) I transfer it to my idea notes before it gets, again, lost. Tip: Do have a place where you write down all your ideas. This is the secret when it comes to not losing them, and regretting it after. It could be your phone’s Notes or a file in your laptop or a notebook. And yes, make sure you don’t lose it. Create a back-up every now and then or keep that notebook safe. Losing an idea could ’cause you massive pain, even heartache. I know this. I sure do. So don’t lose them. Keep them safe.
Day 4 and so on. Nothing going on with the said plot. Just you living your daily life.
Day 30. You suddenly think of a nice set of words that will go really, really well with your plot idea. Next thing you should do: write them down right away. Whatever it is you’re doing, put it on hold for about ten seconds and write down your idea. But the thing is, these words might come to you, like for example, in the middle of the night, during that moment when you’re just a millisecond away from closing your eyes. But no matter how painful and lazy you feel, get up and write those words down. It’s a must if you want your plot idea to succeed. Even the smallest details matter, so yes, write down all of them. And make sure that you add them to your idea plot in the morning.
Repeat the said procedures above for the rest of the year.
Day 360. You were done with the story you were doing the year before, around the same time the plot idea came to you. It’s that time of the year again when you start with another story, another journey. By this time, you’ll know if your idea plot #1 has survived the test of time.
What is the test of time?
The test of time is the amount of time you give yourself to discern whether your plot idea is the real deal or just a wham of the moment. As the author, you will feel this. You will know for yourself whether you should continue developing the story or let it go. There’s no definite way of telling it. You’ll just know. Close your eyes and ask yourself if creating a story from the plot idea is worth it. Then you’ll know your answer.
So yes, idea plot #1 is indeed worthy of being turned into a book. What comes next?
Further develop it. What you have by now is a bunch of ideas that you wanted to happen or you wanted to quote in the book. So from there, turn those ideas into a real plot.
By now, you will feel relieved that the plot outline doesn’t look that empty anymore. It’s not just a piece of paper with nothing written on it. You have these pieces of input. And with proper organization, you’ll finally have a rough draft of the story outline. By this time, there are still a lot of holes in the story. But don’t be afraid of them. You’ll figure it out eventually. Don’t force yourself. Let it come to you. It will, trust me. More so, trust yourself. You’re a writer. You are creative. Don’t lose faith in your thought process.
You might redo the story outline a lot of times from here on. But eventually, you’ll get your drift and figure it out. If you’re on to it, start writing. If you want to keep on obsessing with your plot, sure thing. It’s up to you.
Because the thing is, not every author has the same way of creating stories. That’s what makes everyone special.
This is roughly how I create my story plots for all of you who are wondering. I’m showing it to you as an example. One thing I could tell you is this: Never be afraid because it’s taking a lot of time. No matter how fast, no matter how long, as long as you keep on going, you’re on the right track.
p.s. Keep writing. And yes, I have an awesome news for all of you soon. 🙂