Exercise 7: Create a Foundation Document
From Iconoclastic Writer (Step 6)
For the past few weeks, I’ve been laying the groundwork for a foundation document, and now’s the time to build one! At this point, my basic outline, timeline, and map are finished, so I really need to work on fleshing things out: who knows what when, chapter-by-chapter scene list, and boredom check.
My strategy is to start with the Plotting Worksheet I did last week. It’s got all my great conflict and rising tension stuff packed in there, along with some random notes (they’re everywhere!). Then I have to pull in my other “what if he did this?” and “what if this happened?” notes from all the brainstorming and exercises I’ve done and get them into some semblance of an order. It’s messy and incomplete – this is definitely not a one-day exercise – but it’s a great start.
I’m really excited about the idea of a foundation document, though. I talked a bit last week about finding a balance between over-organizing and not preparing enough, and I feel like this is the right amount. The prompts I’m giving myself are general enough to allow me the freedom to switch gears, but they’ll also keep me on track as I move through drafting.
For the rest of this week, I’m going to keep putting finishing touches on the foundation document, but I’m not getting rid of the exercises that quickly! So many writing books talk about challenging your protagonists or throwing something crazy into the mix to see what happens that I thought it would be fun to work through a few creative prompts to see what shakes out. Kristina Bjoran offers five great ones here.