Friday, October 7, 2011

Plotting is Hard and Other Tidbits I'm still Discovering

Happy Friday, all!

October has been my time to start a new book. The very best part of writing in my opinion--second only to "The End". LOL!

I don't know if this happens to you, but every time I start a new story I almost forget what I did to plot for my previous stories and then I get a little nervous.
How do I do this again?
Why isn't this coming together?
Did I do a character sheet before?
I mean, I've written stories, had a few published, and, well, good grief...

YOU'D THINK PLOTTING WOULD GET EASIER!!!!

*sigh* It doesn't. At least not for me. Which is why I am ever so thankful and completely indebted to one of my critique partners for pointing me the way to The Plot Whisperer.

Have you heard of her?

Martha Alderson from Blockbuster Plots for writers has a great series of Youtube Plot Videos breaking down the fine points of plotting and things to consider when plotting. I've gone through a number of them the last few days (up to Step 9 so far) and it's already spun my writing wheels.


Two things that she talked about that really stuck out in my mind are:
1) Character Flaws. Who is your character in the beginning and who is your character at the end?

2) Climax/Ending. What is your character able to do now that they weren't able to do in the beginning of the story?

Concentrating on these things have really worked for me as far as making the story click in my mind and I feel it coming together much clearer.

Maybe these videos will help you, too.
Come prepared with a pencil and paper!

Writers: Is plotting always consistent for you or are you still discovering new writing tidbits? Any good plotting techniques or links you'd like to share?

28 comments:

Old Kitty said...

I'm a crazy panster! Plotting hurts. Which explains alot about my writerly output! LOL!

Thanks for the links! Off I go to get a pen and paper! Take care
x

Linda G. said...

Two great points. I'll be checking out those videos, too. I'm a pantser by nature, so I'm always on the lookout for plot aids.

Linda Kage said...

Ooh, I hadn't heard of Martha. Thanks for the tips! Good luck on plotting, though I'm sure you'll do AWESOME!

Prixie said...

G'luck! Beginnings are always so exciting.

Rachael Johns said...

Ooh thanks for the heads-up to this tool. Heading over there now :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Bookmarking this post. Thanks Jennifer for the pointer.

As for plotting, it's always a sketchy outline at best, then usually by page 100 I have a better handle on the whole book. Which also usually means I have to rewrite the beginning. Hah! It's never easy.

Jessica R. Patch said...

You have the best links! I actually needed that question at the moment. How is my character different at the end than the beginning.

Excellent!
Have a great weekend!

Lynn said...

These videos are just what I need. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. I find I need to write at least 10,000 words, get the story started, before I start outlining and plotting. But there is always a new discovery with each project thus far.

Terri Tiffany said...

I wish I was more consistent. I am still in that huge learning curve when it comes to plotting--gaining but need more!

Joanne said...

I do like to outline ahead of time, not that I have to stick to it. But I find it easier to actually write if I know where I need to go with the story. Happy plotting to you :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

No, I hear ya. Each time I start over I go through the whole, "how did I do this?" train of thought.

~ Wendy

Rula Sinara said...

I'll definitely check out the link! Plotting so that everything is well motivated, believable, and original is haaaard. It really does help to hash it out with a trusted partner.

Madeleine said...

I love the plot whisperer too. I have her book. What intrigues me is that the novel by Tom Perrotta called Election (and film) shows the character flaws and that while events change the characters remain the same which seems quite true to life too. I loved the way he handled this concept of how people's attitudes doggedly stay the same to fit with an unexpected outcomes.

Karen Lange said...

I am always learning something new, (although I am not as skilled in fiction as you are:). This sounds like a great resource; I think I need to check it out.

Have a great weekend!

Amalie said...

OOoooOOoooo I have not seen this before. I love plotting, but I always have holes I don't discover until 2/3 through the book. I guess we all have our blind spots. Help spotting those early so I can patch them before they become a Huge Issue ... well, that's help I need.

Diane said...

Hoping it all comes together for you. It's good to have a healthy amount of fear in these things, right??!?! :O)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, what a wonderful discovery!

I write nf, which kind of plots itself. Sometimes. And I'm always learning, never getting there. But I love it.

Alison Miller said...

Those are great questions to ask!

Good luck with your new one!

Racquel Henry said...

I'm going to look for those YouTube videos! I do find plotting difficult. My fiction tends to be more character driven, so often times I'll find that the plot suffers because I'm so focused on the character.

nutschell said...

It's never ending, if you ask me. Writers are always plotting! But its worth it in the end--good plots make for great reading.
Happy weekend!

nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Maria Zannini said...

I outline, but I make sure every chapter summary includes a conflict, a potential solution, and a way that it makes things worse.

--at least that's the plan. :)

Sarah Pearson said...

Bookmarked to check out later. Thank you :-)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

That sounds cool--but I LOVE to plot. The process is pretty much always the same for them, I even have steps just like you mentioned. But I still learn something new each time and try to expand my process to incorporate something I missed from my last novel.

MaryC said...

Thanks for the links. I not only question how I plotted but that I actually managed to finish the book.

Off to visit Martha.

Nancy said...

I like your first two points. They would help me a lot if I did another book. I just like to get some characters and a basic idea and let them go. That's how I did my books. I can always use the two ideas in my revisions.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for the links to these videos....I'm off to check them out!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

This is SUCH great advice! I have those moments of panic, too, when I start a new book. It's nice to know I'm not alone. ;)

Amy

Admin said...

Nice Post