plan with me - quoteception
If you don’t know what quoteception is - it’s a project you can participate in if you want to improve your writing skills or simply are looking for an idea to write about. Basically, you’re writing a story around a quote you chose.
This post will guide you through the basic planning process of the project. If you haven’t looked at the project thread yet, you can check it out here.
Also, to fully understand the planning process I chose to display here, you’ll need to know what a fanfiction is. If you don’t want to google for yourself, you can check out my post on fanfictions right here.
So with all of that out of the way, let’s get planning!
This is quoteception, so you’ll obviously have to figure out which quote you want to be using for your story.
I chose a quote from Sherlock Holmes (BBC) - one of my very favourite things on the planet. Just how can you not love Sherlock?
This one is from A Study In Pink.
"Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring!" -Sherlock
Little to no story works without characters, so we’ll have to choose a set of characters. I’ll be using this project for writing fanfiction, so instead of individual characters I created myself, I’ll just choose a fandom here (but you can definitely write about your own characters as well!).
My fandom for this one will be the Penguins of Madagascar. Why? Just think about Kowalski saying the quote. You can’t deny it works.
A pairing is never mandatory, but it can add one or another thing to a story and spice things up. However, I believe that the character constellation and the context the quote can be put in does work out perfectly fine without a pairing, so we’re going without one here.
If you have tried out mix and match, you’ll know what I mean by that. The topic is usually there to help you figure out in what direction the story will go if you don’t have an idea already, and as quoteception doesn’t have pre-defined topics we can choose from, we can make up one for ourselves here. Why is the topic in the planning section?
Number one - you don’t have a plot idea, but you know what topic you want to write about, what characters you’d like in the story, and you already chose a quote, so the topic is there to tie characters and quote together. Choose a topic and you’re ready to go!
Number two - you’re having someone else pick out the variables for this project. Let’s say, a friend of yours wants you to write a story for them, so you ask them to give you a quote and a set of characters to work with. The topic is there so that they won’t have to work out a plotline themselves for the story.
So in my case, I won’t choose a topic because I already have a plotline in mind. If I had to name a topic, it’d be somewhere between science and friendship.
This doesn’t even necessarily have to be in this list, but I thought I’d put it in here for those of you who plan on using quoteception for writing for others (in the sense of other people choosing the variables for the author). If you’re writing for yourself, the genre is something that you don’t even really have to think about - it is defined by the plotline and the topic already. However, if you’re writing for someone and they leave you with friendship as the topic, there are always very many different ways to put the characters and the topic together - especially if the quote can be used in very many different contexts.
So the genre is here for those of you who’d like to ask others to participate in this project. Choose a genre, or perhaps just figure out which ones you wouldn’t like.
For the fanfiction we are planning here, the genre would be
This is only important if you plan on uploading your story somewhere, but it’s always helpful to know what age group you’re writing for. If you’re struggling to decide between two ratings, pick the higher one to begin with as it gives you more freedom.
For this story, I’m standing between 6+ and 12+, so I’ll go with 12+.
Last but not least, it’s time to figure out the plot. This aspect of planning does have the highest impact on your writing process as it defines a lot of the details already, so take your time for this one. Everyone has their own ways for planning out a story, but I like to start out with the setting and the atmosphere.
In my case, we’ll start in the early morning. It’s going to be a sunny day, but most parts of the city are still asleep. It’s a calm and quiet atmosphere - which is suddenly interrupted by a giant explosion right in the middle of the Central Park Zoo.
Those of you who know the series will already know what happened. Kowalski was working on some invention that could potentially destroy the entire planet, and in the process of assembling and / or testing it, something went horribly wrong and ended in an explosion which woke up the other penguins.
Private is panicking, whereas Rico immediately gets his weapons out, ready to defend the base. Skipper however knows his men, and also knows what probably happened, so he calms the others down and gets into the lab. As he expected, he finds Kowalski standing in the middle of burned and deformed parts, apologising for the noise, but also immediately trying to explain what he attempted to invent. Skipper cuts him off, saying that Kowalski puts the team in danger way too often - giving away that he doesn’t tolerate any further inventions that don’t have any other purpose than threatening the penguins’ lives. He limits experimental science to failures and explosions, admitting that he doesn’t have any understanding for why Kowalski still keeps inventing things even though everything keeps going wrong. The quote will be placed somewhere in their debate on the value of Kowalski’s inventions for the team and for him personally.
Their debate slowly but steady evolves into a fight and ends with Skipper kicking Kowalski out of the team as both of them fail to understand the other’s position. However, shortly after the scientist left, Skipper regrets his emotional outburst and, encouraged by Private, follows his second in command. He apologises for overreacting and they figure that their friendship is stronger than any explosion could ever be. In the end (as it is in the end of every episode as well), everything goes back to normal.
And that’s it! That’s roundabout how much effort I put into planning each and every of my stories (minus the character concepts, obviously), and I hope it’s somewhat helpful for everyone who doesn’t really know how to approach the planning part of the writing process.
By the way, you can obviously use this as a guideline for any other writing project you’d like to start - it doesn’t necessarily have to include a quote.
If you’d like to see more planning concepts, make sure to let me know in the comment section down below or over on my social media! I’d love to help!