Author Rose Doyle faciliated one of the first Inkwell Workshops was back in 2006 and told participants about the 10 step plan she uses to start every book, (and she’s written 18, so she knows what she’s talking about!) As she says, there are many similar versions of this plan, used by authors all over the world, but this is the one that works for her, and the plan that has been passed on to many Inkwell Writers ever since….
Rose says: Work through the following ten points over ten days and you will have the bones of your novel.
Write one sentence summarising what the book is about.
Jot down the characteristics/name/age and relationships of your major characters and repeat for the minor characters.
Note the location and settings that will feature in your novel.
Define your character’s goals – set up the plot and create tension.
Every character needs something hard to get.
List the obstacles that prevent the main characters from what they want. These could be psychological, physical or emotional.
Plan the conclusion – make up the ending. Write a paragraph and put it over your desk. You have now finished the book, so the goal is achievable.
Create a brief outline of the plot.
Make a list of chapter headings – each chapter should contain one major event or a linking chapter.
Set up hard copy files for each character and location.
Write the opening paragraph.
(c) Rose Doyle