Tag Archives: planning

Book Planning, days 1 and 2

I am helping my 10-year-old write an ebook, and this post describes our progress so far. I talk more about day one and how we got started, etc. on my post New Writing Idea for Visual Thinkers. That post didn’t get very much traffic, which is a shame, because I really think it’s one of the most helpful homeschool/writing posts I’ve added in a while. It could actually help non-writers get off the ground. I know it was a great boost for Ian’s creativity, so it’s a proven method, lol.

Day One

  • Play MineCraft for ideas
  • Brainstorm setting and settle on one (or two, in this case)
  • Come up with an overall plot (what the story is about)
  • Think of a few unique/surprising story aspects
  • Come up with a few of the character’s preconceived ideas
  • Decide main conflict and five smaller conflicts
  • Write a few key sentences and dialogue that we liked the sound of

Day two

  • Think of resolutions for all of the conflicts
  • Have a few surprises/twists in the resolutions
  • Tie some of the story components together in interesting ways
  • Come up with three supporting characters and name everyone
  • Think of some weaknesses for the characters and ways they will develop throughout the course of the book
  • Draw a picture of his main building, labeling some of the floors
  • Write a paragraph depicting what will happen in chapters 1 and 2
  • Think of a good tagline (it was an accident, but we’re keeping it)
  • Build a 3D model of the main building out of a box, duct tape, etc (this was done throughout the entire process to give him something to do with his hands while thinking)

BoxWe didn’t have a plan of how much to accomplish each day when we started. We actually don’t have a plan at all. We just start working on it when we have a lot of time, decide what we need to do next, and keep going until we get bored and want to quit. (Actually, even after we quit on day 2, Ian spent almost 4 more hours working on his 3D models.)

I am giving him a lot of ideas, but the main ones have come from him. Also, I completely throw out anything he doesn’t like; I haven’t made any “executive decisions” to keep good material or throw out something I think may be problematic. And everything is working out just fine, so far! The problematic things that we have kept have all worked themselves out. Mostly by me asking questions about how it will work within the story, and Ian coming up with good answers. Also, on the second day, Ian wanted to nix the main conflict of the book. “What?” I asked. “That’s what the second book is gonna be about,” he said. And now that we are looking at chapters and chapters of ideas for the first book, I believe he made a very wise decision.