Sunday, April 23, 2006

Plotting

With the gothic finished, it's time to start another
book. I've got a great hook - - but, then what?

When I think about which part of writing is the
most difficult, I have to put plotting right up there
with editing. Why?

I'm a plotter. There are writers who sit at their
computer keyboard and the story flows. They have no
idea where it's going or how it will end. I'm not
one of those. I have to have things well in hand
before I sit at the computer and start the story.

I have to know where I'm going before I can begin.
In simple English, I need a road map to the story.
I ask questions. What keeps the story moving? Is
there enough character conflict, too much? Are
the characters strong enough to carry the story?
Will one character take over? They've done that
before and I've ended up dead in the water.

So, how do I plot? I spend a lot of time thinking
about my characters, how I want them to grow. The
conflict I mentioned must be resolved. For me,
therein lies the story.

People ask, 'but once you know how it ends, why bother
writing the book'. Oh, but you see, I'm one of those
people who read a good book over more than once even
if I do know how it will end.

As a plotter you can spend hours investigating technique.
The snowflake, the arc, the circle, the three acts, and
on and on. There's no magic to it. For me, it's just plain
hard work, that's why I put it up there with editing.

I'm also a lister! I have to make a list. So, I list
how I want my characters to grow, what their conflict
is and how it will be resolved. Then, I think of ways
to thwart the resolution. That's the fun part.
But, ultimately, it's hard work.

So, why do I do it? I write, not because I want to,
but because I have to.
(And, I'm not the first to say that)

So, on to the plot!!!

Allison

Simon's Brides to be released in May
from Wings-Press, Inc.
Visit www.allisonknight.com to read an excerpt

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