Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Madeleine Maddocks is hosting a Plotting Blogfest for the letter P in the A-Z Challenge. She asks the question “how do you plot your novels?”
For me, a pantster, plotting is accomplished as a story-by-story adventure. I like to see where my story is going as it unfolds.
Not that I have no idea where it is going; I start every story with a goal. I know where it will end up usually before I know where the beginning is. Beginning are hard for me; I tend to start with a specific event, or emotion, and a character. The first scene written, however, could be anywhere in the novel; it is frequently moved to fit the content as the story or character develops.
I don’t plot out the action, but as the story unfolds, I will write out character descriptions (I guess these are called ARCs?) to keep track of certain info about them: birth dates, family links, special events, quirks, talents. Eventually I write up a list of character goals for my main characters, and that usually helps me focus – in my head – how the events of the plot must be sequenced.
When I’ve tried to sit and “plot” out a story, I get stuck. I’m always trying to expand on the few lines I’ve written, and if something doesn’t work out, I have a hard time moving past it.
I’m having that issue with the Cyborg Fairytale. I pumped my geek son for some technical info, and wrote a series of plot points. I stare at them consistently and wonder how I’m going to fit all that into the main story. Of course I realize how silly that is; I save research all the time, so I don’t know why I’m freaking out over the written down plot points.
Once a story has been completed though, I’m able to look at it in a different way. I see the whole picture, and can write plot points that need revised, moved, added, or deleted to fill plot holes or move the story along. Perhaps the entire first draft is actually a plotting session for me, lol.
How about you; how do you plot a novel?
You can find others sharing plotting tips and techniques at Maddy's Scribble and Edit site.