Why Making Goals of Your Goals Might Help You Write

Reading Time: 3 minutes

ABOUT ME

Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with ADHD. Which makes writing and reading a hard task for me to sit down and actually do. But the one thing you’ll never hear me say is that writing is daunting.

I love writing and have ever since I was a child. Reading was and has always been something I prefer over television. And yes, reading scripts is also something I enjoy. Someday I plan to write a few once complete with my grand goals.

My grand goals consist of finishing each of my story ideas in my little black book.

However, that’s not the point of this post. (Sorry for getting off topic.)

When I suggest smaller goals inside a bigger goal, I’m talking almost microscopic. With ADHD I can’t just say that I want to write a book then plot out 5 major scenes and then wield it into a completed draft. That works for others, but not me.

PLOTTING TECHNIQUES

Through many years of trial and error on finding out what works best for me, I’ve researched 3 popular options, such as:

Not that there’s anything wrong with those, and there’s not, but they didn’t work for me. They weren’t confusing, but they felt too big for me. As in, the “goals” to reach each Act was too plain and open.

I prefer something that essentially placed blinders on me. Because leaving too many options open for me often led me down rabbit holes of other stories, this never completing a dang thing.

WORD VS. PAGE COUNTS

When starting your goal to write, what helped me was deciding if I was going to base my book by word count or page count. At first, I thought page count, but the words varied too much and that left a lot of open debate within myself. So I decided on word count.

90,000 words became my ultimate goal for my book.

ACT STRUCTURE

The common practice in writing both fiction and scripts has always been to use the 3 Act Structure. That’s great and all, again, not for me.

I use a 5 Act Structure. It’s not very popular, and a lot of people use it differently. The only example I can find is Freytag’s Pyramid.

But, again, not for me. But I did find interest in the theory of a 5 Act Structure and how scripts are structured as well. (And there’s no right and wrong to writing. Just write!)

HOW I USE THE 5 ACT STRUCTURE

  • Cold Open
    • Preface/Prologue(1500 Words)
  • Act One(3000 Words/ea)
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6
  • Act Two(3000 Words/ea)
    • Chapter 7
    • Chapter 8
    • Chapter 9
    • Chapter 10
    • Chapter 11
    • Chapter 12
  • Act Three(3000 Words/ea)
    • Chapter 13
    • Chapter 14
    • Chapter 15
    • Chapter 16
    • Chapter 17
    • Chapter 18
  • Act Four(3000 Words/ea)
    • Chapter 19
    • Chapter 20
    • Chapter 21
    • Chapter 22
    • Chapter 23
    • Chapter 24
  • Act Five(3000 Words/ea)
    • Chapter 25
    • Chapter 26
    • Chapter 27
    • Chapter 28
    • Chapter 29
    • Chapter 30
  • Stinger(1500 Words/ea)
    • Epilogue

Obviously after edits and rewrites the word counts would vary, but this is the standard goal I hold to myself to reach ~90-95k Words.

Each chapter contains 5-10 “plot points/scenes” (about 300-600 words) each. As in, what has to happen in order for the plot to progress. Because each chapter is a “beat”.

Again, it can vary depending on the story. But these points make up if there needs to be a shift in occurrence, dialogue, tone, and other factors that affect the story. I call them plot points, but I’m sure there’s a technical name for it.

I will go further in depth later on this topic. But for now, I hope it helps someone in need. Because it helped me break the chapters down to a minor scale.

HOW DOES THIS HELP?

It helped me because I was able to take the chunky chapter and whittle it down into bits and parts. Much like taking apart a machine and figuring out how it works before actually operating the thing. And like many machines, certain pieces have to go in a certain way in a certain order for it to return back to it’s working condition.

Basically, I write out of order. I write the main plot, then go back and write in the sub plot(s), and then go back and add in character developments/story elements rather than trying to juggle it all at once. Hence why I broke up the chapters as beats. Makes it easier.

It makes sense to me. Maybe it will to someone else as well. (LOL)



Tip the author of this article:
close

Send a tip

Approximate value: 0.1 USD

loading...

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: