Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Help! Please send chocolate!

[Or... "Why I wish I'd realised I was a plotter not a pantser, before I wrote draft zero of this book"!]

How my plot feels at the moment....
I should have known I was a plotter. I've been logical and methodical all my life! But, when I wrote the zero draft of The Trilogy (a few years ago now!) I wrote the story that was in my head. Which was okay as far as it went, but over the years it's changed, and the characters have evolved and some sub-plots have strengthened (and some vanished). And it now feels like I have this amazing picture in my head but just a pile of jigsaw pieces on the table.

Actually, I literally have my plot in pieces on the table, because my dining room table is currently covered in index cards. I have one for each scene and have been trying to get them in order. I have some that will go (that relate to sub-plots that have gone, or which are just not needed any more) and I have quite a lot missing (but I'll do the cards for them once I'm sure they're staying). And yes, of course they are colour-coded for the different sub-plots. 😄

I have a bit of a push-me-pull-me going on when I'm plotting. The major characters are worked on first, with the bare bones of the plot in my head. Once I'm fairly happy with my main characters, the bare bones of the plot get a little firmer. But once I start doing character notes for minor characters, things can get a bit more complicated - some sub-plots become more important, sometimes the main plot gets tweaked. But I usually get all that resolved before I start writing too much.

Not with The Trilogy. I just wrote. And wrote. And now I've sorted out minor character notes and re-drafted what the sub-plots are, it feels a lot like I've got a thousand-piece puzzle in front of me. I know what the overall picture is, I just need to convert the jumble into the neat version.

Right now, it feels overwhelming because I have just over 100,000 words written, but it's not in the right order, and they aren't the right words. Once I have my road-map sorted, the going should get easier. I know what all my key points are, and I (just about, at this point) know what happens in between, to get me from one plot point to the next. I'm also pretty happy with the balance between the different sub-plots and my characters. But, it does feel a little like I'm about to re-write 100,000 words, however much I know a lot of what's written will stay.

So, wish me luck? Oh, and send chocolate...?



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