Another Attempt At Plotting

I’m off work today, praise God.  Not that I don’t have a lot to do.  I must catch up on grading discussion boards in my class and update the grade book with everything BUT the final (which they are taking this week and next).  I’ve got to make the sourdough rolls and the corn casserole before I leave for my mother’s tonight.  I need to finish one last little detail on my niece’s stocking (the little loopy thing you hang them with).  And of course, write.  The other goal I have set for myself is to come up with 2 more events.  If I come up with 2 a day, I may actually have a plot by the end of next week.  What a concept.  Pot and I got to talking about this last night.  I’m trying to avoid doing so much meandering in my plot and be a bit more straight forward, which means really nixing my tendency to go off on tangents with lots of thoughts and emotions that aren’t immediately tied to the action of the story.  So in sitting down with Text Block Writer, which I have already written about here, I thought I would try a bit of a different approach.  This particular story is not my usual romantic suspense where the suspense takes equal stage time to the romance.  We’ve got this guy on the run and there’s kind of a mystery about why he’s on the run, but it’s not the main focus.  There aren’t going to be periodic updates from the bad guys, and there’s no psychotic killer for me to profile.  Sad.  Maybe it’ll get me in the mood to do more with my psychotic killer in Til Death.  Man I’m twisted.  Anyway, since it is a bit more straight forward we have the set up.  We have backstory that’s involved in the set up.  And for the sake of action, we have events.  Stuff that is action, that drives the plot.  From those events we have emotional and action repercussions.  Something else happens because of this event and that leads to the next event.   And each event either pushes the hero and heroine together or pulls them apart.  So I’m trying to think about this outline I’m working on in TBW in those terms.  And now I’ve got this layout:

  • Gray: backstory
  • Green: event
  • Blue: character info (may be revealed because of the event)
  • Orange: action repercussions of the event
  • Yellow: emotional repercussions of the event
  • Pink: romance
  • Black: notes

Since I’m having to get over this natural inclination to be a pantser–because, let’s face it, thats not working for me now like it did when I was sixteen, I actually care about having a cohesive plot these days–I am constantly in search of a plotting/outline method that works for me that I actually LIKE.  So far all I know for sure is that it can’t be overly complicated.  So we’ll see how that goes.

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