Friday, 31 October 2014

Mini-Plotting

Happy Halloween, everyone! Excited? I know I am. Every year, we give out little comic-book tracts to all the kids that come to our door (with candy, of course). We put one tract and two mini chocolate bars in a ziplock back, and give one to each kid. I LOVE doing this. It's a great, easy, non-intrusive way to reach kids (and their parents!) for Christ. And look at how fun they are!












Anyway, speaking of mini (mini chocolate? eeeehhhh transition!), do you have trouble plotting extensively? Does the panster in you cringe and groan at trying to outline your whole story? If so, fear not! Try Mini-Plotting today!

LOL ok, enough infomercial. But! Mini plotting is a real thing. At least, it is for me. ;)

Mini plotting is a way for me to keep track of my ideas as I have them. So, as I'm pantsing my way through scene A, I have an idea about scene B, and something that will maybe end up being scene H, and something that's probably scene P. Not wanting to wait until I actually GET to the scene to write it (I'll forget by the time I get there), I'll keep notes a few spaces under my cursor in [brackets]. For example:



And of course, for a real story, the plot ideas would be more detailed. Well, they can be as detailed or vague as you want, as long as they remind you of what you wanted to do. This way, you're still pantsing, but you're also plotting just far enough in advance that you won't get stuck. And the more you write, the more ideas will pop up. "Oh yeah! I could totally make them do THIS, and that will connect this and this, and explain why they did THAT! Great!!" And then you write down the idea to have at your fingertips. Then you'll have a small, short-distance outline to follow, with maybe some vague long-distance ideas. 

I don't know if this will work for everyone, or if this post even made any sense at all. Wait, let me give you an actual example from my actual story, I'm sure that will make more sense:

~*~*~*~*~*~

“No screaming, no lewd comments. In fact, no speaking. And if you make a move towards Kat, or the exit, or a weapon, or do anything that I don’t like; I will kill you.” [<-- the last bit of story I've written so far/]

[Remember:
1.      Make Rolf insecure
2.      Make Zane womanizer
3.      Make Kat not like either of them at first
4.      Gradually increase relationship of all three

[^^^ my character development reminders]

Plot Points:
1.      R takes Z along to keep an eye on him because;
1.1.   he doesn’t want him to wander the city,
1.2.   he can’t exactly take him to the guards
1.3.   he wants Z to show them how he got in, so they can get out
1.3.1.      Also, scientists in secret lab down Beneath have secret way of going to and from the city, that’s how they (the heroes) get back into Caelum, because Zane’s way (whatever it is) is no longer available? OR did Zane use the scientists’ way?
2.      K is forced to come along too because
2.1.   she insists because he’s hurt and saved her life
2.2.   some dirty guards see her with R (and Z unmasked?) and will come for her if she stays
3.      Go to the theater 

[^^^ my ideas for future scenes, and scenes I'm currently writing, and reasons for their actions.]

etc. You don't have to make a numbered list. It just made my ocd happy. X)

So! I hope that post was a) helpful, and b) not too utterly confusing. Sometimes it's hard for me to take the ideas from my brain, make them into words, and put them down in a logical, readable manner.

Good luck with Nano tomorrow, my fellow writers! Perhaps this method shall help you, and perhaps not. Have a safe and fun Halloween!


4 comments:

  1. I totally do this! With pretty much everything I write, haha. If I'm in the middle of an idea I make point form notes under the already written text with what I want to follow up with:P

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    1. Yes!! :D That's exactly the thing. X)

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  2. I have to say, I've never heard of doing this before, but I totally want to try it now. It makes complete sense to write ideas down like that instead of relying on my faulty memory (which seems to be getting worse alas). I'm definitely going to try this one in my book I'm writing now. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    1. It's SO helpful to me. I can just look and see what I wanted to do next instead of racking my brain thinking, "Wait...I had an idea...what was it?" I hope it helps you! :D

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