English 4420/4425

Plan Grading

As we’ve discussed, your plan should take a form that will be useful for you as you write. It might include a variety of lists, images, graphs, texts, or drafts. It should be tentative, only a guide, and it will almost certainly change. Whatever form it takes, I’ll ask myself these questions as I evaluate it.


  1. Have direct methods of characterization like appearance, speech, and thoughts/desires /motivations been considered? Have indirect methods of characterization like relationships with other characters and immediate setting been considered?
  2. Is the importance of the main (and any minor) conflict to the character(s) clear? Is how conflicts and characters might shape the novella obvious? Is how the characters’ actions and thoughts might create scenes and influence other characters understandable?
  3. Which actions will be summarized? Which will be presented in scenes? What is at risk in each scene? Does causality among scenes seem possible? Does the plan suggest a beginning and end of the novella?
  4. Have decisions about language (particularly point of view) been thoughtfully made? What themes may develop? What is the broader setting and how might it shape the story?
  5. Does the plan seem to act as a resource, a pool of ideas, a springboard for writing the text?


If you are not sure how to begin your pre-writing assignment, consider directly addressing as many of the questions above as possible. If you have any questions about this assignment, please contact me.