Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis


Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Plotting

Some of you will remember that I have a big whiteboard that I use for keeping track of characters, making notes, plotting, and whatever I happen to need in terms of writing. It’s freestanding and I can flip it over and use both sides. I’m about to put it to use to replot the beginning of Blood Winter. Toward that end, today I shopped for some office supplies. I bought a bunch of magnets shaped a bit like pushpins, and I bought some index cards because I was out, and a bunch of colored sharpies. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’m going to write down different plot possibilities for different characters in different colors and play the puzzle game where I align them in order until I have a satisfactory replotting of the story. The thing about this book was that I mostly pantsed it. It refused to follow the plot ideas I had and it refused to give up what it intended to do until I wrote it. So I wrote it to find out what had actually happened. Now that I know and have some time to think about things, and now that I have feedback from my agent, I can see some places where I need to replot.

I plan to do this this weekend. I’ve not done this particular method before (hence me needing to go supply shopping), but I’m looking forward to the process. I’m going to start by brainstorming all the possibilities for the various characters and the events, and then start moving things around, taking into account what I want to keep and how I want to shift things up. I have a feeling I’ll be tossing cards on the floor as I get rid of ideas. The cutting room floor, as it were.

I’m hoping it works. In the meantime, I’ve finished the maps on the other project I’m working on and finished one character interview and am now working on another and also noodling around with some more plot stuff. I’ve been figuring out a lot of world details in the process. I’m excited about that. I’d try out the plot card puzzle idea on that one, but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of the main plot. I just need to get down the details, but that happens in the writing.

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