Plot your story before writing
Think! Before your write
Writing is not an act of merely putting words into a hardcopy or digital document. It should reflect your thinking, opinion or impression of some issues. Writing is a challenging undertaking and it takes time and effort to complete it. There it should be rewarding for you or you might be wasting your time and energy.
Therefore, before you write, you should ask yourself:
- Why do I want to write? What purpose does it serve?
- Who do I write this for? Or who is my audience?
- How should I present the writing so that the audience will understand the message? How can my writing serve the needs of my audience?
Thinking through these issues will enable you craft the approach and strategy of your writing project.
Plot your story
Creative writing ideas are needed for any type of writing, business writing or personal writing included. The writer, who doesn’t have the time to plot, always finds the time to rewrite. Plotting gives you a sense of direction. It’s your map, which will lead you to write your story. Leaping into the unknown rarely works. Without a plot several things can happen….
- Your stories aren’t focused
- You lose your way
- Your characters (or message/content) don’t come to life because you don’t take the time to develop them
- You perhaps might get stuck
- The story strays from its purpose and goal
All this might happen when you haven’t figured everything out before writing.
If plotting a story sounds abstract to you, perhaps we can put yourself in the shoe of a journalist. Imaging that you are a journalist and you need to write about many things that you are unfamiliar with. What should you do?
One of the most universally used tools for information gathering, analysis, organization and presentation is the 5W1H framework. This approach seeks to answer six basic questions in gathering information about nearly any subject: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Sometimes, depending on the context, a second “H” might be used: How Much. News story writing requires that the questions to be answered take a basic form:
- Who is it about?
- What is it about?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
Importance of Plotting
Your plot is the foundation of your story. It’s the skeleton, which will hold your story together. Your plot is there to work everything out first – to see if it can be worked out, and then flesh out that skeleton with other elements that make a story. Plotting is the difference between writing a story for yourself and writing one for an audience. Writing for ourselves doesn’t require too much strain because we only have ourselves to please. It’s when we have to please our readers that the hard work begins.
If you are aiming to sell your stories or persuade others to accept the message in your writing, plotting is a must. Before you start your next writing project, PLOT your story, message or content first.
When you have problem plotting your story, get the help of your six friends – 5W1H. It is represented as a simple set of question framings that was defined by Rudyard Kipling in his immortal poem:
I have six faithful serving men
They taught me all I knew
Their names are What and Where and When
And Why and How and Who
With the help of your six friends, you should be able to plot the storyline of your writing. HAPPY PLOTTING and enjoy the writing that follows.