Hi, folks! My cold is better this week, but I keeping my listy format for the month. I'm offering pre-writing activities for writers, and this week I'm focusing on plot. I have found pre-writing activities insure that you create viable manuscripts. I hope that you find something here interesting.
Charts -- Here is a link to actual charts of authors on Flavorwire: Charts and Diagrams Drawn by Famous Authors. You can see how regular writer folk like J.K. Rowling, Jack Kerouac, and Kurt Vonnegut plot stories. I'm not sure how you write a novel without doing some charting. Everyone finds their own chart method. Check out several and then create your own.
Cards -- How do you keep all those plot points together? Here is a 3x5 card method illustration -- the tried and true method -- at Kimberley's Wanderings.
Software -- If you are like me you don't a ton of pieces floating around you. Hey, you lose stuff. This organizational software will help. Writer's Blocks is a popular program to get you started. I am also a fan of Celtx. Many love their Scrivener. It has excellent plotting stuff.
Story Journals -- Here is a peek at author Laini Taylor's story journal at Figment. This a working place to build a plot.
Dreaming-- Try this activity. Think about your plot for about an hour before you go to bed. Think hard about each plot point. You will find gaps. You will find walls where you don't know what happens next. You will think certain plot elements are weak, but you won't know how to fix them. Just think. In the morning take a couple of hours and think again. This time write what you think. Keep doing this until you know. Stuff to put in your story journal.
Gossiping -- Join together with your writing gurus and talk about your plot. Argue. Joke. Sound off. Let them offer their ideas. You might want to tape this or take notes. This is a great way to get a plot engine going. You might put your notes in a story journal.
Chatting -- This is about taking a walk. You tell a trusted friend about your story without interruption. As you tell your story, allow yourself to change directions, up the stakes, and be inventive. After this chat, write about what you learned about your story. You might put this in a story journal too.
Write the book -- Sounds crazy to me, but some folks just don't have a clue unless they start writing. This draft is very exploratory.Your plot will be a mess: dead ends, rabbit holes, and incongruity.You might write 8 versions of the same chapter in it to find one. I have heard of authors who write this draft and delete it. If this is your cup of tea, NANOWRIMO is for you.
If you pick some of these activities and do them, your plot is sure to bloom. Guaranteed.
Here is a doodle: "Louisana Iris."
Quote for the week:
Every discourse, even a poetic or oracular sentence, carries with it a system of rules for producing analogous things and thus an outline of methodology. Jacques Derrida