The Truth About Plotting

If you can’t fit your plot on a 3’x2′ whiteboard…

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…then the plot doesn’t work.

Last Friday I realized my novel was in two parts.  I take that back.  It’s in three. Three separate books with separate plots and two main archplots that drive all three books.

Clear external goals and antagonists?  Check.  The archplot and the individual plots woven together, driving each other?  Check.  Functional story timeline?  Check.

Can I get a wha-wha?

Working through my rough draft has been an adventure, I tell you what.

Next up:  three synopses.

(UPDATE:  I realized just now that I should link this up with CatholicMom.com‘s Small Success Thursday link-up.  Hiya, CM readers!)

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14 thoughts on “The Truth About Plotting

    • *Still* writing, actually! :-) This is my first novel, though not my first run-through with plotting. This story is contemporary general fiction, bordering on chick lit but with some more serious themes. What I don’t even pretend to aspire to is literary fiction—I’m really not genius enough to be part of the literati, though I do appreciate good literature.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeannie!

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  1. My novel (trapped deep inside my brain but trying to get out) has lots of subplots and lots of characters whose lives intersect, a la Middlemarch. Does Middlemarch break all the rules of novel writing, I wonder? It is very long and there is a lot going on in it, but that is why I love it!!!

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    • That’s a great question. Really. From what I’m reading and learning, yes, in some ways the modern novelist can’t write a Middlemarch anymore. Eliot was able to get away with things today’s writer cannot.

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  2. Found you from CatholicMom. So impressed. Writing a novel? Very awesome. It confuses my brain thinking about writing that much, but I function on very little sleep! Have a great week.

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  3. That white board illustration is cool! I don’t write novels but I sure love to read them, and the idea of how an author sorts out the plot and the details fascinates me! Good going on breaking through with your new organization idea.

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