Plotting Here, Plotting There, Plotting, Plotting, Everywhere!

Plot is a devious creature. We wrestle with it, attempt to force it one way with a lasso, and sometimes fail entirely to make it go where we want it to.

That's what plotting is for. Essentially it's a way of taking your main idea and figure out how A leads to B. It's an excellent way to make sure that you don't have any nasty plot holes lurking. It also helps you to see the big picture and figure out what you're missing, and what things can be changed to make it better.

Personally, I like plotting because it gives me a way to organize my thoughts, find where I want the big kaboom, where I want the hedgehog, and where I'd like to deliver a nasty blow to my readers. Sometimes if you don't plot, you'll find yourself constantly backtracking as you remember a detail that you wanted to add way back in Chapter 3.

There is a downside to plotting, however. No matter how hard you plan, no matter how good your plot map is, there will be times when you just feel the story wanting to go down a different path. It goes against what you have written. You have to decide which one will be the best for the things you're trying to write, even if it goes against what you started with.

Some writers just like to write as they go, thinking up the next scene on the spot. I like doing this too. It feels a little more freeing in a way to just have free reigns instead of limiting myself to a certain scene or a certain motive. Inspiration strikes at strange times, so a lot of my best writing comes from doing very little planning besides the most basic points that I want to include.

If you want to plot, but you're struggling to figure out how, scroll down a smidge and you'll see a chart. It gives you a very basic outline that you can follow if you want to give plotting a try.



That is all.

Comments

  1. Ah! So, do you plot or discovery write by nature? I am a discovery-writer by nature, but I do a little bit of plotting. I'm trying to learn how to outline in a way that won't feel strict to me (that's one of my problems-- if I outline, I feel I have to adhere to it.) So far, I've found the best way to do this is be vague and/or only outline the important spots.
    ~Robyn Hoode

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    Replies
    1. What I like to do is get the loosest outline possible, and then do discovery-writing to get from the beginning to the middle point that I had down on my outline. Same as you, I find it really hard to stick completely to a plot outlined with extreme detail.

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