plotting

I have finally restarted work on True Gold, a sequel of sorts  to Repeating History (one of the main characters is the son of the hero of RH, and the book takes place twenty years later).  Things sort of came to a grinding halt earlier this year, but I’m trying something new to me.  Plotting has always been my bête noire.  I love character development, world-building (or, in my case, historical research), writing dialog and description and all the other goodies that go with writing fiction, but unfortunately none of them are any good whatsoever without a plot. 

In the past I’ve used the process outlined in John Vorhaus’s wonderful but grossly-misnamed book, The Comic Toolbox, and it’s been a great help, but it just wasn’t working this time around.  I had run across Holly Lisle‘s website a couple of years ago and had read some of her articles on writing.  So when I was casting about for something to help me get past the plotting beast this time, I ran across Holly’s website in my lengthy list of links to writing websites, and discovered her Create a Plot Clinic ebook.  What the heck, I thought, it’s only $10.  So I downloaded it and read it.

I appear to be getting somewhere now, so it was obviously a case of Right Book Right Time.  I’ve never outlined a book before — I’ve always been a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person (what the romance writing community affectionately calls a “pantser”).  But since that wasn’t working this time, well, heck, I’m always open to trying something new.

I’m beginning to hope to have the outline finished by Halloween, just in time to take advantage of the worldwide cheerleading gang that is NaNoWriMo.  And to have the entire draft finished by the end of the year.

Eep.  Did I just say that?  Granted, I’ve got large chunks of manuscript from the failed drafts that I can use (just because it failed as a whole does not mean there aren’t some — or many — individual scenes that will work just fine), but still.  I think I just heard myself committing to getting the whole thing straightened out by the end of the year.  Publicly (for whatever values of publicly the couple of dozen readers of this blog consists of [g]).

Oh, well.  As a college friend of mine used to say many years ago, “‘S good for you.  Builds character.”  I certainly hope it does…

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Categories: philosophy, Repeating History, research, self-publishing, True Gold, writing | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “plotting

  1. Go for it! I'm a pantser too, but sometimes it helps to look at things in a new way.

  2. Yes, it does. Thanks for the vote of confidence from a fellow pantser [g].

  3. Is the Lisle's _Mugging the Muse_? Kudos for new approaches!

  4. I have _Mugging the Muse_, but no, it's her _Create a Plot Clinic_. Very useful.

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