That’s what I’ve been working on for the last two weeks. Stuff I can’t share. Despite the popular theory that I LIKE TEASING YOU, (which I sort of do) sometimes it sucks pixy dust to be working on ideas that won’t see the light of day for years. I’m talking book thirteen here. :-) OMGosh, it fell into place yesterday–after two weeks of plotting and a new-to-me plotting technique.
Horrors of horrors, I’ve actually plotted this thing out in a flow chart. I know some writers use them extensively, but it’s not much use to me yet apart from helping me organize my thoughts, but I do have a new-to-me plotting technique to share, one that I’ve been using lately to help me mesh several diverse story lines into one cohesive plot. If you’re struggling to organize your thoughts, this might help.
After coming up with the general story line, I write each separate plot down without regard to the other stuff, sort of like mini synopsis. The elf thread, the magic thread, the relationship thread, the vampire thread. Each one takes up a page, maybe two. Then I transfer those ideas (and motivations) to cards, one idea per card. (This is the new thing for me. Cards. Sheesh.) So I end up with about six to fifteen cards per thread. I work making my card piles for a few days. Long days. I take it slow, and do lots of revisions here since I’m still putting the main plot together. Lots of handwriting, lots of notes. I do this with each plot thread–several times–and then sit down with my stacks, looking at the first thought in each thread. And start weaving. If you do it right, one idea flows into the next, and you don’t forget anything that needs to be included. I usually break my woven piles down into chapters and days. The trick is to be loose and free, and don’t rush it! It took me two weeks. I fully expect I’ll be doing some changes as I get into the writing, but if I don’t know where I want to go when I start, I can be paralyzed by the feeling of being afraid of wasting my time.
I’ve used cards for each thread now for a couple of books. Peri needed this kind of organization badly, but I found I liked it so well that I’ve been using it on the Hollows too. It lets me be convoluted without asking the reader to work too hard. The flow chart? I don’t know. I got to use tape and scissors . . .