With every great story, there is a brilliant plan. A master list where which the author has pulled forth an enrapturing tale of adventure and intrigue. Before one may pass on to the bright horizon of publication and readers, there is a dark and ominous journey which the writer must endure. A strenuous trek immediately follows months upon months of travel in the sea of draft up into the mountains of editing. During the cumbersome climb, the writer will find many plot holes, hindering them from going forward. One wrong step will be to plummet into the depths of doubt. The bitter anguish of continuing onward seems more than the writer can handle. They consider giving up. Starting fresh. That is the last thing the writer should do.
So, you, the author, has an idea, now what? As a creative, your mind is buzzing with ideas and almost no way of implementing them. You have the sword, now where is the quest?
With most great quests there is a map to lead the hero from one place to another. Blindly guessing may get the hero there, but it will inevitably take them longer than they wish. Mapping out the journey will take a while, but the adventure will be all the better for it.
How do you successfully map out a book?
The first thing you as a word-wizard must do is select your hero. The valiant champion of your realm. Find a protagonist that will lead your reader's hearts through the wasteland of words. Craft their being as though you are handling delicate china. They are fragile, breakable, and new. They are just born into the world of fiction. Place in their minds their reason to live. A reason to fight. Then, hand them their mission. They will run with the torch you have lit and will encounter many trials along the way. These trials must not be meaningless. They must shape them as a person, and thus make them a formidable opponent.
Flesh out your main character. Build them, love them, cry over them. Give them something so within their reach, then pull it away just before they can grab it. Put all your emotions into your work. As Robert Frost said once,
"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."
Surprise yourself. Make yourself cry. Make yourself laugh. And most importantly, make yourself think.