Last movie watched: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
On the iPod right now: Do You Know by Enrique Iglesias
I don’t know about you but once I get a few ideas about my plot, I have to write them down. This is to a) stop everything getting jumbled up in my head and b) to make sure the plot will actually work. I use a few methods because I find the writing down and transfer of information helps to reinforce things. So here’s what I do:
On a large whiteboard, I draw up ten equal parts, which represents 1o chapters (give or take). The first is ‘first meeting’ and the last is ‘HEA’. In between I write the important plot points that advance the story forward, and any action that forces a character to do something. If you’re writing a longer book, you could use a larger board, or two. Or if you have a large expanse of wall bare, clip up a long stretch of paper and use that. Or those standing flip charts that you find in conference rooms.
I also end up blue-tacking to my whiteboard any snippets of dialogue or information that I’ve noted on scraps of paper or in my notebook. Then when I write that in the actual story, it gets thrown out.
I then take those scenes and type them into Document Map. If you don’t know what this nifty little program is, check out my article here.
It’s important to keep your summaries short, so when you’re done, the Document Map will read as a mini summary of your story. And after every summary, I insert a page break. I DON’T work in chapters at this stage: that comes later.
So, in The Magnate’s Baby Promise, my final plot plan in Document Map was:
- intro Cal GM – introspection
- intro Ava GM – introspection
- first meeting – conflict, ultimatum
- Ava agrees to MOC
- at Cal’s apartment – revealing character
- dinner with parents – Cal has doubts about Ava’s guilt
- morning tension on balcony
- gyno visit – brief kiss (reveal Cal’s nature)
- Ava cooks dinner – tension
- Cal and Ava at party – Cal’s Ordinary World
- confront father
- Go to Jindalee – Ava’s Ordinary World
- Love scene – Cal leaves
- Ava introspection, returns to Sydney
- Cal introspection, believes Ava is good person
- engagement party – Ava reveals past
- Love scene
- wedding day – Cal and father
- black moment
- in hospital, HEA
As you can see, I’m a plotter-scener 🙂 And by using these little summaries it’s easy to see if the plot doesn’t flow right or if I haven’t sufficiently increased the sexual tension. In this book, it was important to show the growth of the h/h’s friendship and trust, which then culminates in a love scene (the ultimate expression of that trust).
And hey, I hadn’t noticed it before now, but you can also clearly see The Hero’s Journey laid out in the plot plan too! 😆