Writing Tools: Synopsis

For people who need to have everything laid out nice and organized before them, this may help. Not everything may be of use to you in your writing, but it’s good to think about as many aspects as possible in the world you’re writing about. This list is taken from an assignment for majors of the sequential arts department of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

1. Medium: establish the medium in which your story will be told: Live action, Animation, Illustrated novel, Graphic novel, Comic book, Video game, Novel, Theater, etc.

2. Description of the World: Is your world a planet, moon, asteroid, or maybe a comet; is it even in this dimension? does your story unfold on a stage the size of a galaxy or the size of a molecule? Is your world hospitable to carbon-based life forms, are there seasons, does it rain acid?

3. Timeline/History: Create a timeline consisting of at least five major events that contribute to your world being as it is. Wars, Discoveries, Births, etc. Elaborate on eac event; draw from your own experience, but remember to put your bias aside.

4. Storyline: Based on the timeline you created, pinpoint for the intended audience where and when your story takes place. Utilizing your thorough descriptions of such attitudes as Economic status, Energy Sources, Technological Levels, and Political Structures, create a dynamic scenario of circumstances and obstacles for your characters and audience to interact with.

5. Characters: Describe four characters that reflect the environment, time, and circumstances of the world you created. It is important to realize how your world affects your characters in dress attitude, status, etc.

6. Description of Technology: When considering the forms of transport, weapons, and appliances, determine the energy sources which propel these vehicles/devices, and how the energy source dictates their form.

7. Description of Economy: What is the system of exchange: barter, energy, life force, or magic? Is there an economic hierarchy on your world, and how does it inhibit or enhance your characters?

8. Description of Habitat: How do the environment, technology, and economy affect the shape of a home, office, playground, or community in your world?

9. Philosophy/Religion: Do your characters aspire to wealth, power, or spiritual enlightenment? do they worship themselves, the gods, nature, or have no form of spiritual aspiration; how would this affect your world visually?

10. One Sentence Summary: In one sentence, capture all the drama, beauty, strangeness, and passion of your world and characters that you will develop.

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About Morgan Maria D'Isidoro

Morgan Maria D'Isidoro has lived in Baltimore, MD for most of her life, saving a handful of failed escape attempts. Given the murder rates, she'll probably die here too. Morgan is a writer of speculative fiction and poetry, a musician of dubious quality, cat aficionado, art history fangirl, kitchen sorceress, recovering pyromaniac, accomplished liar, and an all around person of questionable employability.
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