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What is the process of coming up with a plotline in fiction like?
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categorycreativity
typeunderstand
tynamite
tynamite's avatar It depends what sort of book it is. There is no one universal answer. I can only speak for me, and the sort of book that I like. If you're planning on writing a novel yourself, you will not find my answer helpful to help you come up with a storyline. So far I've written two novels, to compare them both...

My first novel has good characters, and narration, , but a bad storyline.
My second novel has bad characters and narration, but a good storyline.


I have done this deliberately to suit the books. My first novel has no storyline, and is completely about the butterfly effect highlighting what happens to the person over 10 days. My second novel has a really good storyline with twists and turns.

One of the books I planned the storyline in advance, and one of them I didn't. Can you guess which?

So how did I do it?

With my first novel, I had the first chapter, and I knew how it was going to end. I had no idea what would happen inbetween. I didn't plan the book. I only planned the conversations in advance that two characters would have towards the end. I made up a rule that said Each chapter has to influence the one after it, and be directly influenced by the one before it. The reader has to see that link. I also had another rule. In each chapter, create a new hook. I eventually got to a point where I created new hooks without thinking about it. Hooks are things that you learn in a story like characters, objects, places or relationships that novelists use that they can refer back to in later chapters.

With my second novel, I had a short story which I thought would be a good idea to make longer. In fact I was thinking of which ones could be made longer. I had no storyline to make it longer, so I had to think of something. I was reading a blog about Islamic extremism, and that's when I got my ideas. People who read my book won't be able to pick out any themes such as Islam, extremism, racism or anything. The concepts went into the book, not the actual topics. I would never write books to preach morals or to highlight injustices like a documentary.

As I love to write about real life, I would love to write a novel with good characters, narration and storyline, with also description and no gimmicks. So far I haven't done that. That would be my dream book to write.
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