Sunday, June 7, 2009

To Plot or Not to Plot

Every writer has an opinion on whether or not to plot. I've tried it both ways. The first book that I wrote under the "No Plot, No Problem" school of thought was a hot mess. But at least I learned that I could produce a novel length work.

This inspired me to do a ton of research. Read a lot of books and plot, plot, plot. Even though I've changed it during the course of writing the actual novel. I think what I'll be doing for novel number three is to combine these two methods. I'll plot my main points and let my characters tell me how we'll get from point A to point B.

Just so you know, here are what some published authors do about plotting:

  • Jeffrey Deaver plots extensively. I heard him say once that he'd rather waste four months writing a lengthy plot outline and discover that a book wouldn't work than spend a year writing the book and then realize that it won't work.
  • Steve Berry says he plotted his first several books but doesn't anymore.
  • William Bernhardt is a believer in outlining his books. He say "When you outline . . . . and you will outline."
  • K.D. Wentworth doesn't outline.

Check out:

Plotting It Ain't for Wienies

Author Interviews with: Evan Marshall, Marilyn Harris Collins, and Carolyn See

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