Michael Moorcock has written tons of stories in multiple genres. When he writes, he can crank out a new draft in a few days. A few days?!? What kind of voodoo sorcery is this, you ask?
Moorcock's standard approach may look quite familiar to those of us who plot. Here's an outline of his basic approach:
1. Plan and prepare before you start: characters, settings, themes, possible plot developments. This is no time to be a "pantser". Planning is key.
2. Make your plot a Quest: It's the most popular, time-tested and versatile plot there is. Yhat our hero is looking for something. Your villain is too. Grab a sidekick and go on that quest. It’s a race against time to see who’ll get there first. Watch Star Wars A New Hope, Indiana Jones, or any Michael Bay movie to see how it works.
3. Make something happen every few pages: Divide the action up into four sections and then divide those four sections up into six chapters. At the end of each section, throw in a plot twist - a big surprise.
4. Make a list of some images to use: These will keep the literary types happy. Think about setting, signage, creatures, common themes. Go through your list and drop these in to your writing as you go.
5. Prepare an overall structure: This is the framework for your story. I use a roadmap to guide me from one section/scene to the next. The key here is: know where your story is going. Remember, no pantsing.
6. Think about the timing of the story’s events: From start to finish, how long will your story take? Know that before you begin, then make sure to divide up your framework accordingly. Start with a mystery - something strange happening to your hero, then every time she solves that one, a new one appears. This is the basis of the quest.
Once he's mapped out a story like this, he thinks about it in his mind, validates it with others, and then prepares for a 3 day writeathon. The ability to write well and write quickly takes practice, but I've seen it in my own writing which started off at a snail's pace, but recently has picked up. When I'm writing, I can write about 10,000 - 12,000 words per week, so it still takes a couple months to finish a draft, but that's better than taking a year.
Hi, I'm David. I'm a science fiction writer, lover of Star Trek, fascinated by a potential future of hope. I write from a Christian worldview. Want to know the darker details? Click here.
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