Tag Archives: plotting

The Toes Know

On Friday afternoon, I had the most marvelous idea for a story. What sparked it? A random comment on Facebook. My brain was a whirling dervish of ideas, but I had to finish my writing goal for the day. I’m still trying to write the second book in my Olympus, Inc. series and knew if I didn’t reach my goal, I’d feel guilty for starting something else.

I didn’t even start the story until Sunday. I needed to think about it more. I worked on my junk room *shudders* Do you have any idea how horrible that was? It looks worse now than it did when I started. Yeah, that’s something I’ll be working on for a few weeks. But that isn’t the point of the story. Saturday I spent my day working on the house, doing laundry, and letting my mind churn.

As I settled in to watch reruns of Ghost Adventures, I decided it was time for me to plot my story. Now, for those of you who are newish to the blog, you have to understand plotting is not the way my brain works. I’ve tried it with several different stories. I’ve used different methods and still, I wander away from the plot by the time I get to writing. I hoped this time would be different.

There I was with my notebook and ink pen in hand, Zak, Nick, and Aaron scaring the hell out of each other in the background. I wrote out a quick sketch of the characters and started working on the new plot method I learned at the last conference I went to. It was easy enough; just come up with an opening scene, a black moment, and the end. Oh it was so easy! The opening scene poured out of me. I could see it in my brain and my fingers itched to get to a keyboard.

Then I looked at it. And hated it. I needed a break and that’s when I decided to paint my toenails. Maybe it would help me see what the problem was with the story I’d outlined.

As I sat there applying teal polish, I knew what the problem was. Me. I was bogging myself down with too much information as usual. When I started writing yesterday, did I take my notebook with me? Nope. I didn’t even use the same names I’d picked out. Oh, I tried. I gave that opening scene a shot and after about 1200 words, knew I hated it. A quick control+A and delete and it was gone.

I felt…relieved. I frowned at the blank screen for a few minutes and then started writing what I felt, not what I was expected to and the words flowed. 4,000 words later, I was pleased with my efforts. Is it perfect? Oh hells no, it’s far from perfect. I’m sure I’ll look at it again and adjust here, tweak there, delete here, add there, but at least it feels comfortable now.

My toes knew I wasn’t pleased with the story driven plot. I can’t do it. It makes me feel disconnected from my characters, like they just happen to be along for the ride instead of the ones driving the story. Sure, the story has to be good, the plot strong and driving, but for me it’s all about the characters. I want to love them, hurt with them, laugh with them. It’s more about how they react to their situation than what the situation is, if that makes sense.

So there you have it: the story of how my toes know more about me than I do. I never realized how smart they were. I suppose now they expect to be taken to get a pedicure and I guess they deserve it.

What do you do when you have to ponder something you’re working on? If you’ll excuse me, I need to play with my toes and tell them how glad I am to have them. (Why am I suddenly reminded of Shelly Laurenston’s The Mane Squeeze?)

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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?

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Book Giveaway

I’m nearing the end of rewrites on my second manuscript. Whenever I get close to finishing a project, I immediately begin thinking of what’s coming next.

As of right now, I have two book ideas circling my head like vultures. I’m hoping ya’ll can give me a little help in choosing which one to work on.

So, let’s get to the fun part!

Book idea 1:

This story will involve an incubus and a witch. I have a very basic plot in mind. It would be book 4 of my Veil series. I’m very tempted to start plotting this story out and get to writing, but hesitate because what happens if the series doesn’t take off? The incubus I have in mind is very sexy (of course), and has appeared as a secondary character in 2 of my other manuscripts. The heroine will be a witch about to come into her power. I know how I want to open the book (very hot love scene), but don’t want to get too involved in case the other idea is better.

Book idea 2:

This story would be a complete change of pace for me. I was inspired by a song and came up with the idea of a new series. I want to rewrite Greek mythology by taking heroes/heroines and bringing them into modern times. They’ve all died in Greek mythology, but were brought back by the gods to learn how to be better people. The idea is to match them each up with a modern hero/heroine who’ll teach them this lesson. My first hero would be a rather infamous character (holding back the details for now), and I’m still sketching out the heroine for him. I really like this idea and I can almost picture the whole book.

As you can see, I have two ideas that I think are great, but I just don’t know which one to start on. The old series, or the new series? The incubus, or the fallen Greek hero? I’m hoping you all can help me choose. And in thanks, I’ll be choosing one lucky person to receive one of a choice of books.

So tell me, what do you think sounds more interesting?

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