Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Do You Plot?

Heroine: Chrissie Houston
I have started a new novel. I even have a title right off the bat. Ha! Loving Aleah is a story of relationships, forgiveness and the peace that only God can provide. I doubt that title will ever stay fixed in stone if, God willing, it's ever published, especially since it is very similar to the title of the Hallmark Hall of Fame's movie, Loving Leah. I didn't realize that until after it was titled. :-) But oh well, it's good for me to have a title.

Anyway, I got off on a rabbit trail...

My question for you today... how do you plot?

The husband: Walter Houston
I am seat of the pants writer (SOTP). I like to write and figure out things as I got, but I also like to know where I want to end up. What highpoints I want to hit along the journey. What my black moment will look like, the disappointments, Y's in the road and what the ending will bring to the characters. But the "meat" of the story I still don't know completely yet.

The mother: Teri Shamel

I did something different this time around, I wrote a much more detailed plot outline/ synopsis for my story. First by hand and then transposed onto the computer. I have found that in doing this, I gave myself more freedom to dream up subplots, how everything will come together and what I want characters to be like. Wow, what a revelation that has been! I wrote almost my entire story outline on notebook paper, making notes here and there then putting all together like the blueprint of a house onto my computer. I'm almost ready to roll!

The child: Aleah Markson
And as an added benefit, I have a good head start on a future synopsis for this story. Something I dread like the plague, but another post for another time...

The boyfriend: Scott Lee
I find this part of the story making process so very exciting. The thrill of new characters, the challenge of new words and ideas to put them through. (Buwhahahaha :-) After a bit more brainstorming I will be ready to write my next 90K and say I have written three novels. Love the sound of that number and it means with everything I write, I learn more, what a marvelous emotion!

I would love to know how you prepare for that next manuscript- can't you just smell the inspiration? Oh, maybe that's the cookies in the kitchen. Hmmm. ;-)


  1. I sometimes write things from the characters past, journal style. I know the BIG picture, and stew on the things that hold it all together. But most importantly, I pray for God's wisdom. I even pray for my characters, as ridiculous as that might sound. It help. After a while, things come together and my fingertips fly across the keyboard for hours on end.

  2. I don't think that sound ridiculous at all Gia. I think those are fantastic motivational ideas for a manuscript, a way to plot and a way to really make God a part of the creative process. He did give it to us after all! :)

  3. Woohoo! Can't wait to hear more! And I'm seriously looking forward to digging into those chapters (hopefully over the weekend) and finding out what happens next!

    I don't think I'll ever be a pantser. Just not in my DNA I guess.

  4. Thanks Julia! Your excitement is contagious as I have to go work on it now. :D

  5. You have been awarded at my blog Reviews By Jane!! Although don’t feel pressured to do it. Head on over there to receive it!

  6. I'm a plotter. I use the worksheets in Kathy Jacobson's A Novel Approach. And I use the four part story structure from the Storyfix blog. Then I have a giant poster board with sticky notes tacked to the wall with all my events.

    Good luck on your new project!

  7. @Kait, thanks! I'll be over in a just a few. :)

    @Joy, you are one of those amazing plotters I hold in awe. :) Sounds like you are very organized! Wish you the best with that story!!

  8. Ha! I think I fiddle around with plotting to avoid the hard stuff...the actual writing.

  9. LOL Joy, too funny. :) Just enjoy the writing process, I mean seriously how hard is it to write?? The editing is hard. But enjoy the creation. I wouldn't doubt that you have some great stories on your hands! :)


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