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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Update - Outlines

How do you outline? The most success I've had in storytelling revolves around the following steps, and I was wondering if anyone hates this, goes against it, how they approach their storytelling.

Bear in mind, by "success", I mean the closest I've gotten to actually finishing up the project.

High concept + character arc for main character. I know where she is at the start and where she is at the end, with a concept of the other 90% of the story. By where I don't just mean physically or geographically, but also mentally and emotionally.

From here I break down, very high level, what each act in a traditional three act structure will contain. This is typically applied to film, but I've adapted it to comics, novels and games. I've actually completed games this way, with my main character being the "player".

Then I break the acts down into details of literally what happens in each act by chapter, issue, strip, level or whatever method of splitting your story up you are using. This part is literally as bare bones as, "Chapter 1 -  Character X leaves home for college. Meets a troll in the basement of the dorm building."

From here its time to actually build the content of the story, whether its prose or comic strips or missions in a game.

So, what's your approach? Do you fly by the seat of your pants as you conceptualize, or do you outline in an even more anal retentive manner than has been described?

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