Thursday, May 26, 2011

Plotting! Plotting! Plotting!

Small World, Big Dreams

Well, I'm only a few days into my conversion from Pantser to Plotter, and I must say--and oh my goodness, I hope I don't jinx myself--it's working out peachy thus far. Currently writing CH. 4 of the Historical YA, a little over 1K words into the scene (I average 500 a morning during the week; more on weekends, if I'm lucky), and I keep looking up at the nifty little board I fashioned (thick white poster board, sectioned into 24 squares--big enough for Post-Its) to check my plot points for this chapter.

"Oh, yeah!" I think. "I gotta mention that before I get off on a tangent!"

And believe me, I am notorious for that very thing. One of the many drawbacks of Pantsing is that you can ramble on and on, and to you it sounds completely viable and poetic, but in the end you're really just... well, you know. Certain things become redundant--OK we GET he's gorgeous, all right?! *smile*--and soon you've got a 600+ page novel that needs SERIOUS surgery aka editing.

If ever you've been through edits, you know it can really feel this way.

In any event, I would like to encourage all you Pantsers out there to at least attempt to plot the next 3 chapters ahead. Where are your characters going? Where's the plot taking them? Are you scenes moving the story forward? Or are your people just sitting around, looking at each other? (My dad used to threaten this whenever I asked, "So, what are we doing today?") You don't have to do a serious outline, plot out every detail. Just get a Post-It, write 3-4 bullet points, and make it happen. Amazing how easily it keeps you on track, forces your focus ahead, and pushes your characters into action.

Happy Writing! Happy Thursday-before-Friday-before-a-three-day-weekend (woo hoo)! And, of course...

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,

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1 comment

Jacqueline said...

It is interesting to realize all the things that go into creating your wonderful books...I'm really looking forward to reading the next chapter!...Hope you are enjoying a fun, safe holiday weekend!

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