How do you plot a novel?

Deborah Bouziden: How do you plot? Use an outline? What are your most common plot problems and how do you handle them? Have you ever had a plot disaster or crisis? How did you handle it? Do you advise outlining? Why or why not?

work-in-progress
work-in-progress

SW: I plot the way I put together characters, cobbling together shiny bits and pieces that interest me, and assembling them into a story arc. I have the common problem of not thinking things through to their logical conclusion until it’s too late to change. I have a plot disaster or crisis in every effing book! I handle it by swearing!
Outlining can be useful at any stage. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Just list scenes and incidents and let one step grow out of the previous one. People who don’t outline or put together a synopsis should reconsider. It’s an opportunity to brainstorm and add layers and events.
DB: What advice can you give writers about first drafts?
SW: Write from your heart, every day. Don’t worry about revisions until you have a good chunk to work on. Be fearless.

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0 Responses

  1. I SO had that question at the tip of my finger tips intching to be typed!!! I was just a little shy in asking. I was wondering how you acheived writing a book from beginning to end. I am the type of person who learns by observing and I need visuals…lol…weird I know! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I SO had that question at the tip of my finger tips intching to be typed!!! I was just a little shy in asking. I was wondering how you acheived writing a book from beginning to end. I am the type of person who learns by observing and I need visuals…lol…weird I know! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am wondering though, when you put together your ideas and have a few characters ready, do you write your synopsis before you start your first draft?

  4. I am wondering though, when you put together your ideas and have a few characters ready, do you write your synopsis before you start your first draft?

  5. I definitely write a synopsis before tackling the first draft. It’s sort of like studying a road map. I deviate wildly from the synopsis because the story takes on a life of its own right away, but it’s comforting to know there’s a synopsis somewhere on my hard drive. Kind of a security blanket.

    Before synopsis, I’ve done a lot of creative work–narratives by the characters in first person, a collage and playlists to name a few.

  6. I definitely write a synopsis before tackling the first draft. It’s sort of like studying a road map. I deviate wildly from the synopsis because the story takes on a life of its own right away, but it’s comforting to know there’s a synopsis somewhere on my hard drive. Kind of a security blanket.
    Before synopsis, I’ve done a lot of creative work–narratives by the characters in first person, a collage and playlists to name a few.

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