Thursday, August 5, 2010

Plotting Assist

I had all these ideas for SciFi book 2, but they kept swirling around in my brain, getting all tangled up in each other. Finally, I pulled out a plot points template that I'd made for myself a couple of years ago. It worked for me again (in getting my thoughts sorted out) so I thought I'd post about it here in case it helps anyone else.

It's just a word doc with a series of rectangles on it. Each rectangle is for one event or aspect of an event and it basically just helps me keep things ordered and flowing logically from one event to another. It's also a place to make notes about the character development, not just the action. Here's what's in each rectangle:
Brief description of event/scene/activity
  • Prerequisite -
  • Accomplishes -
A few examples are as follows:
Street kid tries to steal Professor's purse
  • Prerequisite - Professor has put drinking glass for evidence in purse
  • Accomplishes - Showcases Professor's discomfort around kids and how she tends to freeze around violence. Glass gets broken - evidence is gone and they're back to square one.
Brainstorming about bad guy's motives
  • Prerequisite - All other avenues have led to dead-ends. The good guys are revisiting everything, trying to figure out what they're missing, or if there are different ways all the events could fit together.
  • Accomplishes - Jump-starts the investigative process again. Secondary character (Clark) makes mental leap to motive based on similar experiences he had as an MP in the armed forces. We get some more insight into Clark's past and personality.

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