Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm plotting . . .

Yes. I'm plotting. Not someone's demise. Not a diabolical plan. Noooooo . . . I've been taking the last month or so to dig in to my novel--piece by piece and really work on my plot. I like shifting back and forth between working on picture book illustrations and writing, but I've had the last week to focus only on my novel while waiting for my revision notes on my picture book dummy from my super-fabulous agent (who says notes are on the way! yippee!).

Katie sent me over to the Plot Whisperer's blog and told me about the Whisperer's thirty day plotting method, specifically designed with NaNoWriMo participants in mind--i.e. it works best if you have a full draft of your novel. Scroll down to the month of December if you want to see the step by step instructions, but the Whisperer has you doing things like this:
*Figure out important scenes of your novel from your memory
*Identify themes that keep emerging
*Draw plot diagrams galore for different sections of your novel
*Divide your novel up into three very distinct sections
*And, so on . . .

Full disclosure: I didn't do these exercises in exactly thirty days--sometimes I would do two a day and sometimes I would take longer to work on some of the exercises, but WHOA. I uncovered some glaring problems and I am now much more clear about what the heck I want my book to be about. And, I thought after the seventh draft that I was actually through. Ha!!

As you can see, the process has been very tactile.



Lots of ink and pens and working with the computer off--which has kept me from being distracted by the ping of my email alert and the constant beckoning of delicious blogs like this one and this one and this one . . . um, was I saying something?

Now, go forth and plot!
sf

13 comments:

Little Ms J said...

Happy plotting, SarahFrances. I'm sure the end result will be amazing!

Robin said...

Awesome! Love to hear about your process. I love printing my manuscript out and taking colored pens to it. Very, very satisfying. :-)

Christina Lee said...

Yikes--sounds daunting but necessary. I'll be joining you soon enough!
Without the computer on, huh? You go girl!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Good luck with your process and thanks so much for the great links! :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Wow! Amazing! My problem with plotting is it's so much darn work. I just want to get into the words and write. Of course, then I have to go back about a million times to fit everything together, figure out my characters and find out what I want my book to be about. So maybe I should try this methong...

Katie said...

This sounds like so much fun! And I agree - it highlighted some major problems right off the bat!

I wish I had a completed manuscript to put through the ringer...

Hopefully soon :-)

Lisa and Laura said...

I can't wait to use the Plot Whisperer!!! This will be a huge help for our completed PB#2 manuscript.

Gail said...

Can't decide which i like more...the Plot Whisperer or the People of WalMart!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Isn't the plot whisperer great? I've spent a lot of time plotting this month, too. Big change for me :)

Shelli said...

wow how very organized you are...

Tere Kirkland said...

I'm a plot maniac! Need to plan before I know what to write.

Thanks for the links!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Hey, girls, I'm back to the land of the living - I mean, blogging. Computer viruses SUCK EVIL BIG TIME.

So now I'm catching up on all your cute posts. I love using 3x5 cards for plotting.

Suzette Saxton said...

Goody, you shared photos of the actual process! Great post.

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