How J.K Rowling’s planning method could help improve your writing

This week’s tip: plan out your work

When famous author J.K Rowling set about writing the Harry Potter books one of the first things she did was plan out the series in detail. While she remained flexible in her writing, the plans helped her source ideas and develop material as the series progressed.

An important element of developing a plan is working on building tension in order to make a point/s. A 600-900 word comment piece is certainly not a multi book fictional series, so your plan need not be as detailed as the one Rowling worked with.

Even just a simple list can help you organise your thoughts into key ideas or main points, followed by evidence and examples, then a summary or concluding remarks. Some writers find mind maps helpful, others like to sketch and draw.

Whatever your planning strategy, don’t be afraid to be ruthless—cutting out the unnecessary points as you think about how best to illustrate your ideas with application and storytelling techniques.

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