There is always a new post about writer's block, outlining, pantsing and plotting, etc, and how to get unstuck in all the various combinations. Especially in a writing session. You may have a big idea, a high-level picture, but when you sit down to write in the hour you've managed to secure, you're stuck on the blank page.
I use this template to start a session, or do it the night before. It's a fast way to take your nugget of an idea and flesh it out into something you can sit down and write.
It doesn't stand in the way of pantsing or discovery writing since it is your pantsing. Writing isn't typing, your creative exploration can happen here. Then, you type it up into verbose prose.
While you can do something like this for big picture outlining, the point of this post today is for kicking off a writing session. Take 5 minutes, fill it out, and you've now got a few hours of work ahead of you without having to sit and struggle with a blank page.
You may not feel good starting writing the prose from zero, but filling out a template like this is easy, fast, and will short-circuit tons of obstacles.
It won't be for everyone, and some will claim that this hampers their pantsing creativity, and that's okay. But if you struggle on how to start and waste a lot of your writing time wondering "what to do", this gives you a starting place. Do any or all of it.
I didn't invent this, I just combined a few common writing craft conventions into one template. It follows the scene and sequel theory you can read about here: https://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/2647.html# / https://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/2880.html#
Enjoy and let me know what you think:
The high-level overview:
Purpose to convey:
Moves story how:
Worldbuilding to introduce (optional):
Rule of cool inclusions:
No, no and, yes but, yes:
1) What is the opening table-setting:
If a scene:
1) Objective or goal: 2) Obstacle or challenge: 3) Setback or disaster (or success): If a sequel: 1) Reaction: 2) Dilemma: 3) Decision or commitment:
2) Obstacle or challenge:
3) Setback or disaster (or success):
If a sequel:
3) Decision or commitment: