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Plot Week

Every summer The Discovery Channel puts on Shark Week. Every summer I am subjected to watching all of it because my hubby is addicted to sharks. He finds them endlessly fascinating. The nut wants to go dive with great whites. You can tell how excited I am about that prospect. Sometimes I’m glad we’re too poor to afford an experience like that. In any event, that’s what comes to mind when I think of theme weeks.

Well I am officially declaring this week Plot Week for Flash Point. This weekend’s frustrations have led me to realize that I don’t know near enough about my characters or my plot to go plowing forward with the actual writing–at least not without producing scads of tangents and material that would ultimately be cut in a hurry. So in the name of efficiency (and I’m good at efficiency and organization–it’s one of the reasons my current boss hired me) I am going to do some serious work figuring out my plot and my characters by completing The Novel Notebook . The original version of this can be found here on Lynn Viehl’s website.  She also has a great post on novel outlining here, if you’re interested.  Well Pot took that version and altered it to fit more in line with how she tends to think about plot, beefing it up by adding a specific section on plotting the romance. I took her version and altered it by cutting all the stuff related to time period (I always write contemporaries), and adding in some stuff related to the psychological profiling of my bad guys (since that’s my bag), some additional character questions for everyone else, and generally just removing all the built in lines because I’m going to type it all. You can download my version here.

So progress reports this week will be on how I’m doing with getting this completed. With luck I will be in a better position to continue the rest of the book when I finish. I don’t have the luxury of taking years to complete a book anymore (not if I want to make a living at this someday), so I figure it’s the grownup thing to do to turn myself more into a plotter. Which is not to say that things won’t change (inevitably they will as more interesting stuff occurs to me along the way). But it seems smarter to start with a springboard framework so that I pretty well know where I’m going. Wish me luck!

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