Hello, it's Daniel!

I searched and could not find a topic for this. How do you go about planning your stories? I just dealt with, unfortunately, a 16,500 word piece that went nowhere and belongs in the trash. I lost a lot of time working on that one-- it just did not go anywhere. The experience was not a waste, as I can still chalk up the writing time to experience, but I don't want to do that again.

I want to start planning my stories out entirely. Characters, plot, theme etc: everything, all of it. More importantly, I want to know how YOU all do it? I've read some impressive works on here and I'm pleased with the quality, so I respect the kind of writers that are gravitating towards AW. Where do I start? What do I do? I'm willing to give it my all and I think that, for someone like me, planning will lead to greater story quality overall.

Where do I start?

Thanks ahead of time! You are all awesome!