Sunday, November 12, 2006

A plotting I shall go...


A wonderful writing day yesterday was. Met one of my writer friends for coffee and treats yesterday morning. It had been a while, so we had tons to talk about. Getting our manuscripts ready to send to the GH, our current WIP's, my inability to sell a book, etc, etc, etc. Was most fun. Had coffee and a treat that we both thought was a bit too sweet. It really started the day off right. We were supposed to go to our chapter meeting, but decided to skip it and work on editing and plotting instead.

So I came home and whipped out a non fic article, got out my scissors, stacks of sticky notes, and the plotting board my dh gave to me. I decided to go ahead and plot out the rest of HOT/DASH and write it... even if my agent doesn't like it. I do and I want to finish the story and who knows... maybe I can do the contest thing with it until it gets noticed by an editor. Stranger things have happened! At any rate, I want to finish, so I spent the next five hours, plotting, plotting, plotting. First I cut the synopsis up and taped together events as they might happen in chapters. Then I made notes on 3x5 cards for each chapter. Then I color coded the stickys. I had one for each major setting, one each for the POV of both the hero and heroine and one for the backstory for each of them. Then I chose a color for the kissy kissy scenes and one for the major conflict scenes.

I ran into problems right away. I could see where the competition scenes were and realized I needed to move things around to evenly space them in the book. I noticed one chapter that was lacking in stickys and one of the main story arcs happened too soon. I began talking to myself while my family carefully skirted me on their way to the garage, (I was on the floor). I noticed that the heroine had the complete POV in one chapter so I started the next one in the hero's POV. On each of the POV stickers, I would note the main plot points of what happens in their POV and their emotions at that point. I have a CP who is constantly going on about emotion. Her thing is "How does that make him/her feel?" Makes me dig deeper, so I jotted some ideas down as I plotted. I feel pretty darn good. The first three chapters were easy as they're already written. I just put together the little colored sticky books and tacked them on there. I left the last three chapters blank, because I want to see how it goes till then.

I've never plotted so extensively before. And the sticky notes/plotting board works because you can see things in a glance. I'll let you know how successful and useful it really is.

9 comments:

Christine Keach said...

Wow! You DID have a good day. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! And thanks for the encouragement — in case you don't read my response to your comment, how about a mailing party next week? Meet at the post office and go for celebratory coffee afterwards?

BTW, thanks to the encouragement you gave me yesterday a.m. I (drum roll, please) FINISHED CHAPTER NINE. Yay!!! I can't believe I finally got past it. Only have 11 more to go, but what the hey.   ;?)

Diana Peterfreund said...

I'm so glad you've discovered the glory of the plottign board! Isn't it the best?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very productive day :)

Jaci Burton said...

You post it note people scare me. *g*

I've been resisting it so far, but I might have to break down and try it one of these days.

Looks like you had major success with it - congrats!

Zinnia said...

I really need to update my plotting board. It's been so long since I've used it I'll probably have to break out the glass cleaner to get the Dry Erase off of it.

Kristen Painter said...

I have yet to make the plotting board work. I end up bored and wishing I was doing something else - like actually writing.

Anonymous said...

I have one too, and I've found they're really good for plotting out multiple (series, but not category) books at once. Since my plots weave together over the course of three books, the board really helps me visualize them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Teri, thanks for explaining how it all works - I've always wondered about those things. I'm definitely going to give it a try. And check out THIS plotting board for a giggle (oh, and keep clicking because there is more!)

http://www.will-self.com/writing-room/index.php