Thursday, May 28, 2009

Plotting 101

MENTAL STATUS: "Semi-concerned". Face is looking blotchy and I don't know why.

I have my own way of writing a romance. I can't complain. It's worked well for me so far.

BUT (and that's a big "but")

I have an idea for a book that is not a romance, and I don't know know what to do with it. I mean, I have REALLY been at a standstill with it. It's been driving me crazy!
Part of the problem with it is that I have no actual plot. Just an idea. Therefore my normal way of writing isn't quite cutting it.

Fortunately, one of my critique partners--who is an awesome plotter-- is giving a class on plotting (Plotting 101) for all of us in the group. I've tried one of her gathering info methods last night, and I already feel like something is finally connecting. FINALLY!

I'm hoping I can find a few more of her tips helpful too. Then, I can incorporate them into my writing method and make it my own.

I'm not looking to completely overhaul how I work, but I did feel it was time to stretch my writing muscles a bit and approach this story a little differently.

Have you ever felt like you needed to change how you normally plot your book?

Or has what you're currently doing always worked for every new story?

12 comments:

Chicki said...

You've roused my curiosity. Is this new story humorous or serious? I'd really like to see how you write another genre.

Each time I plot a MS I do something a little different. I always do a general outline of the book from start to finish, this time I also used a storyboard. It started with an actual foamcore board using colored sticky notes then I transferred everything to a Word document. This worked pretty well. I'll e-mail you a copy.

Terri Tiffany said...

You sound so excited!! Go with it!
I have always written romance (well, the first two books) but this last one, an idea came to me and it wasn't romance. I actually plotted it out on paper! Not me at all but it worked! I love this one best:)

Wendy said...

Is it more of a character-driven story?
~ Wendy

Tess said...

Isn't it interesting how the muse will take us places....

I wish I had a better plotting method. Mine is ok, but I still struggle a bit and would like to hone that part of my crafting a bit. Let us know what you figure out. :)

Cindy said...

How exciting that you have a new project and something out of the ordinary for you.

I've found as I write my plotting becomes more and more extensive with each book. Instead of just sitting down and putting my hands to the keyboard, I try to outline as best as possible. And, if I can stand it :), I'll try to do any research that's needed beforehand.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies!

Wendy: Actually, it's not character-driven. At least not yet, I'm just figuring out characters now...

Stephanie said...

Plotting? What's plotting? ;oD I just outlined my current WIP and it's been amazingly easy so far. Who would've thunk it?

PatriciaW said...

Plotting is an area I struggle with. Need to do it--pantsing doesn't work for me--but haven't found a method I really like. Does your cp teach any online classes?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

With each new story I work on I deviate a little more away from the true panster that I started as. My writing style is evolving. Sounds like yours is too.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Patricia:
No, my cp doesn't teach any classes--yet. But she is writing a plotting book. :)

Jessica said...

I was tempted to write an urban fantasy but didn't get very far because I don't read them so I don't even know how they're set up. LOL Mostly I stick with romances, and not much before-hand plotting.

Jill Kemerer said...

With each book, I plot more in depth. And each book has more conflict, more depth, and better flow. I'm always tweaking the process.