Writing Advice

How to Plot Out a Story Like Michael Crichton

…and generate a birds-eye view of your story

Woelf Dietrich
May 28, 2020 · 7 min read

Plotting with Michael Crichton

Lo there do I see my father; Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers; Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.

“Ibn Fadlan never speculates. Every word rings true; and whenever he reports by hearsay, he is careful to say so. He is equally careful to specify when he is an eyewitness: that is why he uses the phrase “I saw with my own eyes” over and over. In the end, it is this quality of absolute truthfulness which makes his tale so horrifying. For his encounter with the monsters of the mist, the “eaters of the dead,” is told with the same attention to detail, the same careful skepticism, that marks the other portions of the manuscript.”

Enter Michael Crichton’s index-card method

Mindmap

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Woelf Dietrich

Written by

Reader, Writer, and non-practicing lawyer. Nominated a couple of times for the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Speculative Fiction. 2017 SJV Award finalist.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Woelf Dietrich

Written by

Reader, Writer, and non-practicing lawyer. Nominated a couple of times for the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Speculative Fiction. 2017 SJV Award finalist.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

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