This Is Me Plotting

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?


Filed under Writing

6 responses to “This Is Me Plotting

  1. I’ve recently started trying to plot. I HATE it!!!!!!! But I have to get all these damn ideas straight in my head. Now to find what type of plotting works for me severely ADHD self.

  2. OMG, I’m so not a plotter. I just sit and write. I feel like the plotting thing puts constraints on me. You know? Like stifles my creative flow.

    Now, on the re-writes, sure, I make sure the plot flows smoothly and such, but before hand, NOPE. 🙂

  3. KAK

    I’ve done the pant-ser and the extreme plotter approaches. I haven’t quite found what makes me really happy. Tangents are evil, so is arriving at Chapter 15 to realize your story is chasing its tail. I’m somewhere between knowing the pivotal moments and short synopsis…

    I think. Mebbe.

  4. Can’t do it- I can paint broad strokes but cannot plot a book from beiginning to end. In fact, the only one I wrote in order, I hate the ending. LOL!

    • Lynn – I know the feeling. That’s why I just write the general ideas and most important parts of the book down because that’s where I want it to go.
      KAK – Yes, I’m still trying this method out, but since I still change some key points of the plot…it’s still changing (my plotting method that is).
      sfcatty – My 2nd MS was written with broad strokes and I had to rewrite the whole second half. The 3rd MS was plotted out and I have to rewrite the plot. Makes me wonder why I bother.
      Tonya – See I like the pantster method, but then I go down the rabbit hole and never find my way back. I’m still fine tuning my “method”, lol

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