A New Way of Plotting – An Experiment

As some of you are probably aware, I experiment with my writing process quite a lot. Instead of sticking to one prescribed method, I'm always on the lookout for new, better ways for me to write stories.

Some stories need a different plotting structure than others. Some of the stories I write come complete with bells and whistles, just waiting for me to write them out without needing me to do anything other than write on my part. Some novels are a lot more work, requiring me to carefully consider the plot, the consequences of character actions, and so on.

I'm going to see how much of a novel I can write in one week. When I plot too extensively, I tend to write slower. This doesn't work so well when I'm trying to do ‘marathon writing' and accomplish excessively difficult goals in a short period of time.

However, completely writing off of the cuff, or pantsing a novel, can be as dangerous for me as writing without any outlines at all. So, I try to compromise on how I plot stories when I'm anticipating a marathon writing session.

This time, I'm trying a totally new approach.

I am writing one sentence of synopsis per scene. I have to distill what I want to happen, and capture the heart and soul of each scene. This lets me get an idea of what I want to happen without telling the story in advance. (I don't write as well when I already know everything that's going to happen. It's not as much fun!)

In addition to this synopsis layout, I also wrote out the motivations and goals of the antagonist, and how the antagonist connects to the protagonist.

The rest I'll figure out as I write. The sense of discovery is still there, as I don't know my new character at all, and we'll still get to make that journey together as I write.

This time, though, we'll have a road map. If we take a detour? More power to us. I guess I'll see how this method works when I try it over the week.

Leave a Comment: