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when starting to write is it better to have the whole framework in place before you start or adjust the frame as you proceed.To know that you want to write a fiction is or isn't enough on its own. You need the whole story set out first.

Hello, Frank:

Since you are in the book section, I will assume you are speaking of writing a novel.  The steps are as follows:

1. Write your story concept.
2. Write your story treatment using the three-act structure.
3. Write your action-only outline using the three-act structure.
4. Write your character studies.
5. Write your book.

A story concept is a short paragraph in two or three sentences that communicates the main thrust of the story.

A story treatment is where you expand your concept into a three to five page description of story and plot and introduce your characters and a little environment.  No dialogue.

An action-only outline is an outline of your plot using short phrases to describe the order of the action.

Fill in single page studies for all of your main characters.

Write the book using the three-act structure.  What is the three-act structure?

1. The setup.  Introduce your story and end the act with a promise of a conflict to follow.
2. The conflict. Work the main conflict.
3. The resolution.  Resolve the conflict(s)

Yes, you need to have the frame in place first.  I've kept this answer basic and without detail rather than leaving you feeling like you've been hit by a truck.  If you will ask me questions based on the above frame, I will then answer the questions with more detailed focus.

My best,
Youngbear Roth

Writing Books

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M.L. 'Max' Roth, Executive Editor


My specialist area is literary and philosophical fiction. I am pleased to answer all queries regarding story, plot, character arc and development, environment, structure, theme, subtext, and conflict.


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