NaNoWriMo: Developing Your Idea

Ugh. This post is pretty late in November, guys. Hopefully it will still be useful to you, though. I see all of you procrastinators out there…Ahem. Anyways, on to the post! Now that you have the basis of an idea, you’ll need to flesh it out so that you can begin plotting it. The first step to accomplishing that is to write a logline.

Why Do You Need a Logline?

Loglines are an important aspect of developing your idea because they ensure that you have a clear idea in your mind about where your story is heading. In order to create a coherent story, and not a story that is scattered all over the place, you need to have a central idea as defined by the logline. Once you have that logline, you can then use it to help you brainstorm various plot twists and possibilities for your story.

How Do You Write a Logline?

Even though loglines are very short sentences of 25 words, give or take a few, they can be very hard to write. As long as you stick to including the following four components, taking out all unnecessary words, and rewriting again and again to get your logline right, you should be fine. Remember to include…

  • the inciting incident
  • the character
  • the protagonist’s main goal
  • what’s at stake

If you’d like, you can even head over to my “My WIPs” page to see a couple of logline examples from my current WIPs.

Something to Keep in Mind

Loglines can change immensely throughout your drafting process as your plot grows and changes. Be open to logline revisions and revise your central idea as often as needed during your drafting process to ensure that your writing remains focused. Just as it is okay to change your outline while you draft, it is also okay to change your logline.

What to Do When You’ve Written a Logline

Now that you have finished writing your logline, it’s time to start fully fleshing out your idea. Do a brain dump in your notebook or document by writing down all of the ideas for your story that come to you. Don’t censor you ideas; instead, write them all down as they come. Keep on asking “what if?” and explore the possibilities of all of your ideas. Then, once you have a bunch of brainstorming notes down, you can begin organizing them into a cohesive plot.

Well, that’s it for today. Good luck with writing your loglines and developing your plots! If you would like to, feel free to share your loglines or plot ideas below. If you’re having trouble, maybe one of the readers on the blog or I can help you.

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