Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Potholes in the Plot

What am I reading now?  The Essence (Kimberly Derting)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  (Ooh, I got an ARC for this book! *Happy dancing*)
          I had such high hopes for this book (could be part of the problem) since I loved LOVED the first in the series, so it was hard to keep reading when it started out so slowly. But when you are invested in the characters you can't leave them when they are having a dull day. However--The plot picked up and it was hard to put the book down--in fact, I don't think I did.
          I would have liked to see more of what was going on in the other character's lives, but I understand that the battle in this book was Charlie's.
Yes, I liked this book. Yes, I'll read the next one too. This one comes out January 1st!!

Charlie is the queen but the old queen lives within her. She tries to resist Sabara's voice, but it's more than she can bear. When she had to make life and death decisions, she wonders who's voice will be stronger.

Looking for Potholes!

I can give a lot of excuses for why I haven't been writing enough lately.
•I spent a week at a convention
•Prepared Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people (everyone brought something--wasn't so bad.)
•Dang busy at work (the day job)
•Planning a daughters wedding at the end of the month
•Got sick
The truth is, we have plot-holes (big, gaping, rim bending, probably pop a tire if it were a pothole) and need to figure out our next step.
          So here's what Deanna and I do to get a grip on it...Ever read Save the Cat (Blake Snyder)? He uses this method to plot out stories; we use it to locate holes after writing.
          We like the fun of discovery writing and "pants it" in the first draft, but sooner or later we all have to pay a toll at the story structure bridge, so we do it in the next draft.

We create a large chart of story structure and character arc for our main character's plot line, then we make similar columns for the subplots. Then we read through the first draft and fill in the scenes we have in the right slots.
Here's what it looks like before we start:

Sometimes we have to move scenes. Sometimes we've have to make a subplot into the main plot. Sometimes we have to toss scenes out completely. But always--ALWAYS--we have holes we have to fill.
Here's what it looks like after mapping it out:

By the end of revising we have to deal with all the scenes and notes, one by one, and pull them off the chart to pronounce it finished. Then we can send it out to Beta Readers.

And that my friends is the real reason why I haven't been writing as much as I should--I have to find the plot-holes.


kbrebes said...

Terrific! Where/how do you print up your story structure/character arc chart to get it so large? I want one!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm so impressed, but then I always am with what you two accomplish together. Seriously, you two need to teach a class at the next summer iWriteNetwork conference.

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

That's awesome Canda. I like the reusable board. I might have to try that.

Christy said...

Way cool! That is a very efficient way to look for holes.