Writing is a creative process and how every writer chooses to create, is individual to them. Likewise, with plotting, every writer plots at a level they are comfortable with.
Some just plot the bare essentials. They have a firm idea of the story they want to write and have a good memory to be able to memorize everything.
Others go into more detail. These writers prefer to figure everything out before they write the story.
How you plot will also depend on your level of experience. For the beginner, it's recommended to plot thoroughly.
Before writing, think of every possible situation. Plot events thoroughly, plot scenes to the last detail and generally leave no questions unasked or unanswered. This way you will always know where you're going.
Are You Using The "What If" Technique When Plotting?
Your short story of 500, 2,000, 10,000 words or whatever word length you choose to write, will spring from a single idea -- perhaps a one-sentence idea.
So when you are still in that one sentence stage, using the ‘What If,' technique is a good way of generating ideas to build on that initial story idea.
While you are in the plotting stage, experiment. Your aim should be to write the best story you can. Experiment to see what bits and pieces you can put together to write the best story ever.
So using "What If," ask yourself questions then answer them-
- What if the character was like this?
- What if this happened to him?
- What if I placed him in this situation? How would he react?
- What if I took this away from him?
- What if his worst fear came true?
- What if he doesn't get what he wants? What will he do?
- What if I placed this obstacle in his path? What will he do?
You'll be surprised what you come up with, if you take the time to experiment.