Saturday, December 11, 2010

A plot... A plot... My kingdom for a plot!

Hey all! I've gotten so many awards since the last award page update that I feel overwhelmed. I will get to them all though as soon as I can. Thanks for my award, Blogger!

So... I'm in a little bit of a dilemma at this stage.

I realize the need for a plot outline. After all, I need to get the book going from point a to points b, c,d and e.

My rough draft left so many plot holes and loose strings that I don't know how I'll ever get them worked back into my book. Sigh.

yWriter has this awesome thing where you open chapters and scenes in the chapters. In other words, you can build an outline and then write in them. Brilliant.

Except that this pantser is drawing a complete blank. I know where the the end goes. Sort of.

I made a nasty little discovery. Since I'm a pantser, I was  merely concerned with getting my characters to the end of the book. They had that end in common.

But now, since I decided to change the end, I've basically split the entire story into two parts. The two main factions involved have nothing to do with each other - and for a brilliant reason. So the fact that they don't have a common goal until the end of book two...

The thing is that I want to write the entire series, but I want all of the books to be good enough to be read alone. And if viewed alone in the current shape, half of the entire storyline is going to look redundant.

In short... It's a mess. A huge one.

I never thought I'd say this, but...

I NEED A PLOT OUTLINE.

And so... I need help. Lots and lots of help.

9 comments:

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Misha:
I don't know if you picked up the award I gave you but it's in a recent post still on page one.

When I really needed to add an element of tension several years ago and couldn't think of one, I brain stormed with my critique group. It meant tweaking the entire book, but it was so much better for it.

If you don't have an in person critique group you could certainly brain storm with us bloggers. Just let me know, though I should be able to get around more now that my edits are nearing the end. Only six chapters left.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

The Golden Eagle said...

Keep thinking about it! Playing with the options--all of them--can help with finding the right way to get it all together.

The Blogger Formerly Known As said...

As N. R. Williams says, if we can be of any assistance at all, please don’t hesitate.

Have a great weekend, Misha :)
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Jessica Lei said...

Hmm. Maybe you should try writing out the entire plot outline from memory? A synopsis. And trying to figure out how it could work with what you've got.

And yes, feel free to email me or have some kind of open forum on your blog :) I love plotting and I'd love to help.

Hannah Kincade said...

I used the Snowflake Method for NaNoWriMo. That helped me immensely. Most importantly write everything out. Get it all in a notebook so you can reference it easy and add things and move things around if needed.

Good luck!!

Rachael Harrie said...

Congrats on your awards. Good luck with it, let us know if you need help brainstorming :)

Rach

Meredith said...

It always helps me to outline whatever I have, just as it is. I can see the whole plot more clearly that way. Then I start freewriting to try to decide where I want the plot to go. I hope this helps!

klahanie said...

Hi Misha,
For what's it worth, I can perhaps be of some assistance. My writing is totally non-pressure. Thus, by not being too hard on myself, I have little trouble in formulating my stuff. It may be rubbish what I write, but for me, it's just a bit of fun and therapy. Nothing less, nothing more.
Congratulations on all your awards. Most deserving. In kindness, Gary :-)

C. N. Nevets said...

I do a really loose outline, Misha. When I outline I think in terms of chapters instead of outline points.

So I lay out my major plot points:

Charlie graduates college with no prospects.
Charlie meets Linda.
Linda gets Charlie to run drugs.
Charlie gets rich.
Charlie dumps Linda.
Charlie gets arrested.
Linda helps Charlie break out of jail.
Charlie and Linda run drugs together happily ever after.

Then I go back and I insert my minor plot-points that are necessary to bridge the major ones:

Charlie graduates college with no prospects.
Charlie lands a job washing dishes.
Charlie meets Linda.
Charlie becomes increasingly attracted to Linda.
Linda gets Charlie to run drugs.
Charlie has a knack for drugs.
Charlie gets rich.
Charlie has multiple affairs.
Charlie dumps Linda.
Charlie gets sloppy with the drugs.
Charlie gets arrested.
Charlie has a terrible time in jail.
Linda helps Charlie break out of jail.
Charlie realizes only Linda cares about him.
Charlie and Linda run drugs together happily ever after.

And then maybe one more pass to see if there are other bridging plot-points.

And then I think of each those as roughly a chapter. It's not rigid, but it helps keep me on track, and it's super easy to adjust as new ideas come to me through writing.

If you want an example from an actual book, drop me an e-mail at c dot n dot nevets at gmail dot com and I'd be happy to share one with you.