The Status Quo

And How to Twist It

Author's Note Header

Given that I’ve been abnormally productive with my outlining this week, I decided to act like I know what I’m doing and talk about it for a bit. Among other stuff.

But first, a few quick updates:

IRL Had family over to visit this week. Lots of hanging out and fun conversations have and are ensuing.

Story Updates Decided to trail along with mom to work on Wednesday (to help get thread/yarn for something afterwards) and got seven more chapters plotted. Given that my usual is one or two on a good day, I’d say it went really well. 🙂

So what about the Status Quo? You know, the thing you named this post after?

Oh, right, that.

It’s probably an obvious observation to professionals,[1]If such a thing can be said to technically exist for writers but I’ve found the easiest way to plot out my chapters far past the point of having a clear idea of what’s going to happen.

The important part is figuring out what “normal” is at whatever part of your story you’re on. And not “normal” in the sense of establishing the norm before the hero’s journey is kicked off or whatever, I mean what can the characters assume about their world wherever they are in the story. Even if normal = shit’s fucked, that’s the norm then.

After that, you figure out what big plot point you need to happen and what the norm (once it happens) will be. Then you piece together what changes will need to happen to get the norm from one stage to another.

And voila, you have several small changes in the norm that can be expanded into scenes or chapters[2]I’m using this for chapters, but I can see this working for scenes for someone who has a different system than I do and you didn’t even have to get every minuscule detail down. Hurray!

Granted, I’ve only ever done this once, but I thought I’d share it anyway. Either it’ll be a mini-brilliant moment for me or something to look back at and laugh at.

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So, what do you think?

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