Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Day One: Planning and plotting #BYBin30

Today is the first day of the 2014 Blog Your Book in 30 Days challenge. How much of your book have you planned ahead?

If you haven't outlined your book ahead of time, or done any of the background work for your characters, today's post should help you with all of that.

Once you have your title, you need a short synopsis. Try and write a blurb for your book, the kind of thing that would be found on the back cover of the book. Once your blurb is written, add in how the story is going to end, and you should have a decent but brief synopsis.

Here are some examples of the kind of thing you would write for your synopsis:

Fiction example: 
Gabby is just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life until one day, she isn’t. Magical things start happening around her, beginning with her shadow taking on a life of its own. Gabby would think this was cool, if it wasn’t for the fact that her shadow was trying to kill her. Gabby and her friend Devin rush to find out why her shadow is coming after her and how they can stop it, and along the way they both learn to believe in themselves and stand up for their beliefs.

Non-fiction example: 
The 28 Day Fitness Challenge gives you several exercises to choose from for each day of the challenge with the goal of increasing your fitness levels. The daily challenges focus on helping you to grow stronger and to increase your endurance. It's not a DIET challenge. There are several theories about what the right way to eat healthy is, and what works for one might not work for another. So this challenge deals solely with physical fitness - strength and endurance. The challenge gives you a mixture of weight training (anaerobic) exercises and cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises. There are three different levels of challenges to choose from each day: beginner, intermediate and advanced. If you are a beginner at some things but more advanced at others, feel free to mix and match which exercises you choose. If you do the exercises daily, by the end of the 28 Day Fitness Challenge, you will be stronger and more fit than when you started.

Your synopsis does not have to be perfect at this stage in your writing. This is just the planning stage and everything can be changed when you get to the editing and revising stage, once the first draft of your book is completed.

Next, you need an outline. Not everyone uses an outline for their novels, but outlines are really useful ways to help make sure you have a direction for your writing, and this is true for both fiction and non-fiction writing.

For simplicity, I'm going to suggest that you write down chapter headings, along with a brief, one- or two-line, description of the chapter. If you write half a chapter a day, you will have 15 chapters, so shoot for 15 chapters in your outline, although this number can be flexible.

Here are some examples of the kind of thing you would write for your chapter one heading and description:

Fiction example:
     1.Her Shadow
          a.Gabby begins to notice that her shadow is moving independently from her, and she senses     

             something dark and evil is behind it.

Non-fiction example:
     1. Day One of the 28 Day Fitness Challenge
         a. Aerobic/Cardio Exercise
             1) Beginning Level
             2) Intermediate Level
             3) Advance Level

Character Descriptions
The next thing you will want to plan ahead of time is your character descriptions. You will want to know as much as you can about your main character as well as one or two of your secondary characters.

Here are some questions to ask of each of your characters:

Name of character?

Age of character?

Appearance/looks/physical attributes of character?

How does the character dress?

Personality traits?

Family background of character?

Anything in characters past that is important for character now?

What does the character want?

What are the character's flaws?

Does your character have any quirks and, if so, what are they?

Does the character have any special skills or abilities?

How do others react to the character?

E-mail me at Rebecca (at) Fyfe (dot) net if you would like worksheets with these questions on them.


Give-away! CLOSED

One Blog Your Book in 30 Days member, who participates this week, will win a Writing Voices journal. Winner will be announced on the 7th. Must be signed up to qualify.


  1. and the challenge begins, they have leaped from the traces and are heading down the straight, day one has begun.

  2. argh I put the link on the wrong day :(


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