I think I might be becoming a . . . plotter. Gulp. Kinda scary when I think about it. Does this mean I’m going to start writing a synopsis before I write the book. Probably not. Seriously, though, the book I’ve been working on has been taking me in a few different directions. I don’t know if this change is something permanent or merely something that I need for this story at this time.
Or maybe it’s aliens. (Sorry the saying just flashed through my head and I had to get it out, blame the gif I saw with those two words on it.)
For a while now, I’ve been plotting to keep short stories from ballooning into full novels. This story isn’t meant to be short and it won’t be if the number of points I’ve hit on the plot is any indication. I found myself sort of stymied and stagnant for a couple of days and thinking about how I didn’t know what was going to happen in the story. (As an aside, I realize this could be a reaction to some stress I’ve been under lately. If it is, once the stress subsides I should be back to my happily pantsing ways on my longer stories.)
I have tried plotting out longer stories before. It tends to go better for me if it’s just a few points ahead of wherever I’m at in the book and kept fairly vague. If I plot from beginning to end, the story either languishes unfinished or I find mid writing the story has changed and the points I have for it don’t fit after a certain point. I have one story that I plotted from beginning to end still sitting unfinished. I really don’t know what’s keeping me from writing it, but it sits there mocking me with its numbered outline of scene points.
This story, putting down a few scenes ahead wasn’t enough. I felt compelled to map it out from beginning to end. (I use notecards when I plot out a book so can move the points around to the way that ‘feels’ right.) Once I did, I was able to sit and start writing again.
So if I start whining about needing a chocolate fix, I might be having a few problems. Time to get writing.