It happens to me in the fifth chapter. The proposal is polished, the synopsis done and I have to actually figure out the nuts and bolts of the book. I know my characters,though they will continue to reveal themselves to me as I write, and I have a vague idea where the book is going. After all, I wrote the synopsis right? This is where I run into trouble because basically, the synopsis is a two page book blurb. No nitty gritty. And I flounder. I have spent a month or more on the fifth chapter trying to figure things out. This go round, I don't have the time as my agent is ready and waiting for this one. So...
I have tried many different ways to plot out a book. Diana Peterfreund swears by the plotting board method with notes on each scene written out on sticky notes. I tried it and loved it... for a while. Then my book veered so far off what I had originally planned that I would have had to replace almost the entire last half of the board to keep it relevant. Then I tried the collage method. Jennifer Crusie swears by it and though I loved doing it (both computer collage and hard collage,) I still ran into chapter five plotting issues. I've tried keeping a hard copy notebook with all the information in it, but that didn't work either. Yesterday, one of my fabulous cp's mentioned that she worked on a mac and absolutely loved Scrivner. She spoke about it so glowingly, she almost made me, a PC, want a mac. Then I started thinking about what my friend told me about One Note, a program that came with my 2007 word program. I started playing around with it and OMG.
I'm in LOVE. I created a notebook just for Speed.It looks EXACTLY like a digital binder with each page having it own tab. I have a page for the synopsis and every chapter. I have a page for a point by point plot outline. I have one to track each character and their cars, that even contains a pix of their car! It automatically tracks the website the pix came from, and the file where I pasted each completed chapter. I took each point in my plot outline and pasted them in the chapter on where I think they will go. Each point will then become a scene. Today I am going to do a character treatment on each character. So instead of having a doc file containing a dozen different word docs, I will have all the pertinent info all in one very user friendly place. AT MY FINGER TIPS!
This gives me so much freedom, I can't even believe it. It makes plotting a JOY!