My Plotting Process

I am not sure about you but it is really easy as a writer to get bogged down in the more technical aspects of writing. Often we can spend hours upon hours writing up plots, scenes, outlines, character profiles and making sure we hit those key target percentages within our book, more often than not, we do this more than writing the book itself.

Originally I was someone who would just wing it. I was 13k words into a thriller when I discovered that outlining was a thing that writers were suppose to do. So, I stopped writing and set to work creating an outline, realising in the process I have zero idea where I was going to end this story as I was completely character driven.

This had one very definitive impact on me…I stopped writing altogether. I just lost all creative mojo for this project because I was focused so largely on the ending, the outcome of the story. That was 4 years ago. I have tried numerous times to pick it back up. I sent it to an author friend who praised what I had so far and I really did enjoy writing it at the time.

I have since finished writing another book (fantasy) and I have also learnt a really effective way for me to plot. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a ‘plotter’ nor am I a ‘panster’ I sit firmly in the in-between. I like to have a rough guided outline but I let myself be led by the characters now. I change my outline if/when it needs it but I use it as a guide when I feel myself stuck at the dreaded ‘where next?’

I have implemented various methods within my plotting an outlining. Essentially speaking I write out 1-3 pages of everything I think I know about my story, who the characters are, their relationships and where they end up. After this I use the Save The Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody 15 point beats to expand on that so that I can try and make my story have depth and growth throughout but gave each beat a sentence to paragraph and no more.

I create a new notebook for the story taking a lot of inspiration from Sarra Cannon over on Heartbreathings Youtube channel and have a basic profile for my characters. My fantasy novel was set in a new world which will be part of a series of books so having a series bible where I can pop all my worldbuilding notes has been invaluable.

I find that having these done in a basic and simple way still allows me to feel free with creativity to change, adapt and let my character take me on a journey with them while keeping myself from going completely off track or getting lost.

I would love to know if you have any plotting methods which work really well for you, or similarly, if you have found that plotting ruins your mojo. Please let me know below.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise

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