Friday, February 22, 2013

Plot as you go

This seems to be my fallback position. I pants my way through a few chapter then start to write a chapter by chapter outline. Pretty soon I start making notes for future chapters, as well as add revision notes for what I've already written, usually things I thought of or my CPs suggested and often in purple. For example, after writing chapter one, this was my original summary of it:

Ch. 1 – p. 1 On the day before she leaves for the Academy, Camille’s Grandfather takes her to meet the peddler from whom she receives the watch.


Now that same entry looks like this:

Ch. 1 – p. 1 On the day before she leaves for the Academy, Camille’s Grandfather takes her to meet the peddler from whom she receives the watch.   This would be a good place to insert a bit of back story. Start with Cam’s worry over leaving Grandfather alone, even tho he has friends, thinking about his warnings about CGE, which she doesn’t believe, putting it down to fear that he’ll lose her, too, like he did her mother.
     Don’t get me wrong. I love my grandfather, more than anyone. More than the father I never knew but heard so much about, and more than my mother who thought nothing of leaving me. But he is old fashioned like a lot of old people. Always thinking things were better when he was a kid, that ‘the worlds have devolved and all that was good is slowly leaking away.’ I think he’s being a little dramatic, or maybe just remembering wrong. “You forget, Cammi, I’ve been around a long time,” Which is true; he has. He was around when Cedar made first contact (although he always says they made contact first).  I try to tell him it’s change and inevitable but he just shakes his head.
      "Then why are you letting me go?” I asked him the last time he went on about CGE.
     “Because I don’t want to lose you,” he answered.
    “You can’t lose me, Grandfather,” I said, hugging, him. “No matter what.”


As for the watch Cam receives, I imagine it looks something like this:







23 comments:

  1. Great way to keep the story focused! Yay!!

    And I love your gorgeous blogheader pic!! Take care
    x

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    1. Thank you! I needed something new :)

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  2. See, I love to plot as I go. I love that causality of one event or reaction triggering the next. I find so many cool twists and turns that way. You have to be very open and aware of connections as you go, though, to make things cohesive, but I love pantsing. :))

    Very nice demonstration there. Nice writing too.

    And I love that photo at the top. Gives me hope that spring is around the corner. :)

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    1. It's funny, some stories seem to lend themselves better to a total plot out/outline while others absolutely do not - like this one.

      As for the new pic, I needed something to remind me winter isn't forever and my old header pic was depressing me, hence the new one. Less than 30 days til spring.

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  3. I'm with Luanne above on the new top picture :)

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  4. I also adore your blogger header photo. That pastel petal is such a bright spot amid the rockiness of life.

    Your method of pants and plot looks like a great tool for taking something and adding, growing or doing the reverse when and where necessary.

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    1. It helps having CPs who read as I write, letting me know what's working well, what isn't, and what needs elaboration.

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  5. You're not alone. I write pretty much the same way.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  6. Nice demonstration of the writing process! I love to start with a random, totally unplotted story idea, and then run with it for a while before stopping to outline, and then I end up outlining quite a bit like you do, except sometimes, I have one outline on the pc, and one outline on paper that looks like a scribbled jumble.

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    1. I used to write so much more on paper, now the only time I use paper is if I'm away from my computer.

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  7. I love that header picture, too, but you ALWAYS have super ones.

    Interesting way to write. I'm kind of methodical. I know where I'm starting, where I want to end up, and a number of the stops along the way, but it's putting the flesh on those bones that is fun. Organic and flexible. Fun.

    And long as hell.

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Yes, I've known almost since the beginning how I wanted everything to end and some of the stuff that happens in between but how I get there is a little fuzzy at times, lol.

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  8. Glad that process works for you. I think I would confuse myself...

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  9. I do some of this too. I can't concentrate on an entire plot concept at once. I get an idea of what I want to accomplish with the book, and then start writing. As I re-read what I've done, I leave editing notes for sections I need to go back to, but also for myself for future chapters so I don't forget to add something in. Plot as I go works for me too.

    .......dhole

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  10. Hi, Marcy,

    Interesting way to approach writing. Glad it's been successful for you. I am the "fly by the seat of my pants," kind of writer, but I may have to try this technique. It might help tighten up my writing so my edits would be so 'arse" numbing ... LOL.

    Have a great weekend and I too, LOVE your new header! Pink flowers have always been my favorite.

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    1. I love pink flowers, too, especially if they're fragrant :)

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  11. This is almost exactly how I do it. You almost have to pants those first few chapters to see if there is a story there. Then outline it!

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  12. That's is a great way to pants. It's sort half-pantsing, half-outlining. Go you!
    I'm afraid I'm very anal about outlining, and I've been working on a premise and outline for about 3 months now. Yeah, I'm having some problems getting motivated. lol

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    1. My last book I outlined almost all of it before writing anything. But for some reason that just didn't work this time.

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  13. Awesome looking watch! Very nice. I ditto that your header photo is lovely. :) Sounds like you plot/pants about the same as me. I have a rough roadmap, and make more detailed notes as I get closer to each scene.

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    1. Yes! Exactly! Because as you get closer you can see more and it all becomes clearer :)

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