Week 11 of the 52-Week Blog Challenge with Marketing for Romance Writers. This week I’m going to explain how I plot.
Plotting isn’t easy.
The first book I finished (way back in the old days of the late ’80s) was a total mess. I had no idea who the hero and heroine were or what their problem was that kept them apart. The characters were cardboard cut-outs and the conflict was non-existent. All the hero and heroine had to do was talk to each other about their problems and they would have been resolved quickly. And, while I was writing that book, I believed I would never find anything else to write about at all.
Good news. I finished that book, with plenty of partial ideas for other stories.
So the second book I decided to write I changed into a plotter. I filled out character charts and wrote up an outline of the story. About fifty pages of outline. Then I started to write it, or tried to write. Never even finished the first page before I got bored with it.
Intense plotting was not for me.
So what ended up working?
Over the years I’ve tried all kinds of different ways to plot–some working better than others–until I settled on my process. It’s a combination of plotter and pantser. First off, I need to know a lot about the main characters and, second, I need to see a few important scenes clearly in my mind and, third, I need a possible ending. Normally I think about my stories for a few months until I believe I know the hero and heroine well enough to start writing it, and then I just start writing. Somewhere in the middle of every book I stall out, so I let that story go and work on another one. Eventually they all get finished. Right now I’m finishing a cowboy story I started in 2014 for a specific call.( I have five or six more unfinished stories on my hard drive .)
Beginnings are the hardest for me to write because I start in the wrong place. In one of my stories, Trusting the Cowboy, the original beginning ended up as chapter four or five. By the time I found where it fit, I needed to do a lot of rewriting on it.
Writing is hard.
So how do other writers’ plot? Check it out here.