Saturday, October 12, 2019

It Came to Me in a Dream: An Unusual Plotting Technique

Usually, when it comes to plotting a novel, I struggle with getting it all to come out the way I envision. I have a strong beginning and knowledge of how I expect it to end. It's what comes in between that throws me for a loop. I'll write down possible scenes, things the character(s) need to do or potential conflicts that could arise. Most of the plot ideas that end up staying in the story are ones that I discovered after many revisions.

I expect there are many of us out there with this same kind of problem.

For my new novel in verse WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY, plotting was a totally different animal. The main character Jack spoke to me in a voice so loud and clear. He was insistent that I tell his story the way he spoke it, which turned out to be free verse. So, instead of plotting what might happen, I began to compile a list of words that would spark a conversation between Jack and me. ( The title for the story at this stage was Fish, Wish, and Other Four Letter Words...hence the list of four-letter words).



Each day I'd sit down with the list, choose a word and let Jack tell me his thoughts on it. The list expanded as we got further into the story and the final version that became the book veered from the strict four letter word format. But that list is the plot, sure and true. Every crossed out word is a poem in the story. I am so intrigued by this idea, that I am ruminating on another story in verse and have started compiling my list of words.

6 comments:

  1. I love stories in verse and have written one. This is an intriguing way to plot a novel.

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    1. It was for me at first, but thanks to Jack's insistent voice, I never ran out of things to talk about with this character.

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  2. That must make writing in verse so much easier... Brilliant!

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    1. As someone new to writing in verse, it was a "brain opener" for sure and led to so many great plot options.

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  3. Ooh! What a fun idea to generate a plot - plus, to get to know your character better!

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    1. I really helps with the character development for sure, Claudia.

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