Again, your mileage may vary. It all depends on how your imagination works. My imagination is visual and I’m still learning. I think in pictures and it gets very messy. Metaphorically speaking, a story comes to me like a ton of dirty, mismatched socks dumped on me all at once. I’ve learned to just go with it. So, the second step is Sorting It All Out.
I have no interest in Screenwriting, but have found many of their tools extremely helpful. I was set on this path by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, author of a huge backlist of novels, contributor to Trekkies 2 and co-author of Star Trek Lives!
Jacqueline’s big site- http://www.simegen.com/jl/
Jacqueline’s posts every Tuesday at Alien Romances- http://aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com/
On the Star Trek site- http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Jacqueline_Lichtenberg
She introduced me to Save the Cat!
She also suggests writing the Logline first. Here’s a great video on how to do that- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4a9JRjP86Q
Both of these things have helped me enormously in getting those huge, messy stories sorted into manageable stacks of utter lunacy. If you find your stories making you crazy too, I strongly suggest popping over to Jacqueline’s site and learning all you can. 😉
Some storytellers seem to be born knowing how to structure a story. That’s not me. I still need a guide every step of the way. I get into the nitty-gritty with the Monomyth after Save the Cat! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey
This concept was brought to a lot of us through Joseph Campbell, whose student, George Lucus, blew moviemaking out of the water with the original Star Wars.
Check this link out to see what I mean- http://www.starwarsintheclassroom.com/content/hj/index.asp?sw=2
Happy writing, Storytellers. 🙂