I have a love hate relationship with plotting. On one hand, I hate having to sit down and think the story through when all I really want to do is write. On the other hand though, I know it’s good to have an idea of where the story will go and how it will progress so I don’t find myself going off on tangents. Tangents are my favorite, but they’re costly.
So last year I took a plotting workshop with Jessa Slade. She gave us this lovely spreadsheet type thing to plot with, but I never downloaded it or used it. No, instead I use the sticky note and folder method (picture posted).
This is how I plot. I try using different colored stickies for the two main characters, a different color for the plot line, and then yet another color for conflicts.
Now, you might ask me, “Danica, do you use your plotting folder?” and I would have to respond with a resounding, “No.” I rarely ever open this sucker up. It’s like once I have it written down, it’s stuck in my head. Oh sure, I meander a bit from the original plot idea, but I stick pretty close to what I intended. I just don’t look back.
Is it a waste to spend time plotting this way? I don’t think so. It helps me get my thoughts organized. The best part about this method of plotting though, is that it helps me connect with my characters better. They have a motto, they each have their own conflicts and it’s all written down…if I wanted to go back to refresh my memory.
How do you plot? Are you super organized, or do you have things written all over the place? Do you actually follow your plot, or deviate from it?