I think everyone before me this week covered plotting quite well. So when I sat down to think about the angle of my post, I was left with a blank. Jay talked about writing by the seat of his pants! J.A. likened her plotting to old maritime maps. Liz talked about her plotting rituals.
And then I noticed a theme. Everyone talked about his or her plotting ways. So, here, in pictures, is how I tackle plotting.
As you can see, I am all sorts of productive when I'm plotting.
But to be serious (me? serious?), I've written a novel by outline and by the seat-of-my-pants. I prefer the latter, only because, as Jay said, it's more exciting and it leaves the door open for new scenes, or characters, or subplots. BUT...I have reached 20,000 words on a manuscript only to realize I have no idea what happens next. That's frustrating. I'm like a big yellow lab when it comes to focusing. It takes me all of two seconds to lose interest. If I let that book sit for a few days, by then I have a new idea for a new and better book and then I'm off running again. So an outline keeps me focused and I've found that never, not once, have I followed an outline exactly as it was written. I still find room for spontaneity. So, the best of both worlds, I guess?
Jennifer Rush is the author of ALTERED coming Fall 2012 from Little, Brown. Check out her blog for news and updates.