Ah yes! The power of it all. A friend of mine traveled from Victoria, to spend two days with me. We’ve known each other for years. She’s written a number of non-fiction books for teachers and is a former colleague when we worked as school principals. But the most important thing is that she adores reading.
She is the perfect partner for a Plot Party. What is that you may ask? Well, for writers it’s an opportunity to get together and brainstorm where a book might be headed. We are creating plots. Did I explain that I needed help? Oh yes.
I’ve been thrashing around in the mud. My thoughts were rambling and unformed. I didn’t understand my characters. What are their backstories? Why do they do what they do?
We used large sheets of paper (because that’s what former primary teachers tend to do) and we created plot points, important scenes and family trees. As an author I need to see where I’m going. More or less. This in-depth work was desperately needed. Even though I may not incorporate all of the possibilities that we created, I will have a framework for my writing. And that’s how I write. I admire authors who can write ‘into the mist’ – ‘pantsers’ but it doesn’t work for me.
In order to do this, we utilized suggestions from Blake Snyder’s – Save the Cat and Michael Hauge’s 6 Stage Plot Structure Worksheet. These are screen writing books but definitely assist the novelist too.
In between, good food, mega naps and a lot of laughter, we achieved our goal. A plot-line all set up and ready to go.
And now: All I have to do is write it.