Today I learned that there are great benefits to be won from the process of planning out a story. I know it’s news only to me and that everyone else is thinking, “Duh!” I’m still astonished, however, that building the outline and planning out the story arcs is helping me get this thing going in a big way. For one thing: I can move pieces around as needed. Last night I placed one particular turning point six installments out from the end only to realize today that I need more room after that event to squeeze in the things that need to happen before the end. There are 26 installments (yes, I’m sticking with the original plan from months ago in that respect, twice-weekly installments for 13 weeks) to build; having a fixed number gives me a box in which to start fitting the pieces. Storytelling Tetris, as it were.
For another thing: I realized last night that I don’t need to craft a clever plan for the grand finale all on my own. Clever plans abound in stories written by smarter folk than I. All I need to do is find one that suits my purposes and adapt it to this environment. It’s almost time to conduct some research! (Note that I have no intention of using someone else’s efforts in a whole-cloth form. What I need is the structure of the thing, Person A Takes Action X While Persons B And C Provide Distraction Q, and so forth.)
Planning! Who knew?
The most astonishing thing, mind you, is that I put together the planning file last night, got it more than halfway done, looked at it again this evening, and didn’t chuck the whole thing in the waste bin for being a terrible idea. Instead, I moved things around and added the extra bits I needed to happen between the moved things and the ending things. Now all I need is to work out the middle details of my erstwhile “B Plot,” then plan out my Grand Finale, then I can start this thing.
If I still like a story idea after sleeping on it then there’s some small cause for hope. Right? Right.