Monday, August 6, 2012

Plotting & Post-its

The plot bunny can be a treacherous little creature and very hard to catch. It helps to lure him with carrots, but in case you don’t have spare carrots lying around, (I know I don’t, it’s too healthy), this blog post might help you to develop your plot.

I am a very visual person (it's a gift and a curse) and have always wanted to work on my plots by using post-its, but enjoyed winging it too much and didn’t really know where to begin until a writer friend of mine gave me a good tip. I start with the main plot, summed up in one line, which I put on paper and if necessary, scribble any additional notes. I prefer writing the purpose of the scene with relation to the main plot or sub plot, which also helps me determine if I really need the scene. This is just the set up to get my head in the game.

Though I’m good at plotting the evil things that will befall my unsuspecting characters (In a cartoon I'd be the villain stroking a white cat) I don’t immediately know all the scenes that will be in my story, so I start with writing down the initial situation; the stasis and what the main plot will entail. Then below it come the scenes and then on another page I write what the situation will be like at the end of the story; the goal. And then below that I write the situation that would lead me there and work my way from the beginning and end to the middle.
This is what it eventually should look like:

This way you at least now which scenes you need it, even if it will change. You can just put a post-it over it with the new scene.

You can also completely make it out of post-its, but it will be a lot of them and you would need a big poster or your wall to put it on.
For my main plot events I always use post-its and I put them under the correct act. I aways use the three act structure. Like this:

Try it and see if it works for you. In my case my walls are always covered in paper. 

But that’s the way I like it. Crazy writer-lady will one day be my nickname. Then again, maybe it is already? J