5 Basic Suggestions for Plotting Your Novel

plottingIf you believe anything about me it should probably be the lack of plotting that happens with each of my novels. Plotting = prepping. Plotting = planning. And a prepping planner, I am not. By nature, I’m actually a huge procrastinator. That works for me (kinda sorta mostly-ish). Not sure what works for you? We’d like to give you some suggestions to try.

1. Fly by the seat of your knickers

Hi, my name is Candice and I am a procrastinator. So this scene-by-scene, pay-as-you-go, figure-it-out-when-you-get-there method is my jam. I wrote all of WHERE WORDS FAIL that way and all of my two other completed novels that way as well. Mostly I knew what reactions I wanted, but not how I was going to get there. When words hit the page, they either felt right or they didn’t.

2. Missionary (yes, this is a sex joke—sorry)

This is your standard outline process. The one everyone’s doing. The one you learned in grade school. Whether you’re using roman numerals, numbers, uppercase/lowercase alphabet, or some combination of them all, the facts are all the same. It’s a step-by-step process for formulating your beginning, middle and end. It’s worth mentioning that there’s nothing wrong with Missionary—not when it comes to getting physical and certainly not when it comes to plotting your book.

3. Gap-fill (IT’S PAINFUL JUST LIKE THE DENTIST)plotting

I’m almost certain Diana plots this way—She writes a few key scenes, maybe the beginning and end, then fills in the holes. And for this: please stand up and applaud her like whoa. Because this is no easy feat. Still, if it works for you, have at it. If you know what your ending looks like but not your middle or end, great. Write that and fill in those gaps with play-dough, silly putty, jell-o pudding or anything else you’ve got on hand.

4. Y = mx +b

Yes, that is a math formula. FOR SHAME. We of the wordy persuasion know not this black art of numbers—or something! Basically we all hate math and I’m sorry. But, for this example, sometimes a formula helps. Standard romance formulas SOMETIMES look something like: LI #1 is introduced, LI#2 is introduced, LI’s 1 and 2 fall in L-U-V, LI’s 1 and 2 angst uber hard and quit the L-U-V-I-N (conflict), HEA (resolution).  Your plotting doesn’t even have to be anymore detailed than that. As long as you get there, to the end of your novel.

5. Pants that sucker!

‘Nuff said?

 

xo from this girl under the trench coat!

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