Plotting your story

A new series

Cooper Smith
Feb 25 · 3 min read
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Last year, I wrote about my intention to finish a novel in 2019. (If you haven’t read it, there is a free downloaded spreadsheet to help you finish a novel). Now, it looks like I’m on track to finish it sometime in October. By far, this is the most productive fiction I’ve ever written and I owe it all to the planning I did before. So, out of the request of some friends that have read my posts, I’m going to start a series of stories all about plotting your story.

These are all techniques that I have and am currently using as I’m writing my novel. I’ll talk about the Hero’s Journey, what we can learn from television, tips I use to stay focused, and more stuff I think of along the way. So, if you are interested in these stories, and some free downloaded tools I make for myself, make sure to follow my page for updates. If you’re curious about why you should listen to me, I don’t blame you, read on for my background.

Who am I?

I could be one of those writers that tells you all about my “fascination” with mythology from a young age or how I found comfort between the pages of a book, but there are literally hundreds of those on the internet and I don’t feel like that makes me qualified to sit here and talk about how great I am. Instead, I want to give you the facts.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When I went to college, I immediately declared that my major was going to be anthropology, the study of man. I was obsessed with Joseph Campbell, who many will recognize as the man behind the Hero’s Journey, and used that obsession to follow in his footsteps.

My first mentor in life was the head of the humanities department of my college, who got her PhD in Mythology. I didn’t realize that was something someone could become a doctor in. After speaking with her, it seemed like I had discovered my path. I met with her frequently and set myself up to go on the same journey.

I spent the next three years studying and preparing my thesis, but a turn of fate called a lot of that into question. It came down to two trains of thought: Did I want to write about someone else’s stories or did I want to write my own. The choice was obvious. I swapped my major within a week and started working toward a degree in writing. Something that, now, I can admit is pretty useless.

From there, I decided to focus on writing for television. It is a modern medium that is only growing. People from all over the world work in TV and the idea of a writers’ room always excited me. It felt like something that I could write while still enjoying the cultures I studied in my previous degree. I worked through my education, got some stories published along the way, and got out with a degree and a decent portfolio. But, something I’m sure I don’t have to tell any writer, there isn’t exactly an entry-level job for television writing. It is all about who you know and not being on the West Coast puts you at a disadvantage.

So, I found a job in content. As it turns out, my combination of academia and creative writing makes me extremely well suited for the task. I get to use many of the skills I took from both degrees and still get paid to write on a daily basis. My job has even made me a better writer.

Now, I’m taking everything I learned from anthropology, creative writing, and content marketing to a project that has the greatest chance of success: a novel. Follow my account for updates. I’ll be posting stories soon and even turning them into full series.

TL;DR I am one of those writers who writes about writing.

— Sorry.

Cooper Smith

Written by

Content writer and strategist in Denver, Colorado. Enjoys to travel, get lost, write, and repeat.

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