Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When Your Plotline Gives You Lemons

I added 1k words to my BB&C wip this morning. Instead of playing around pre-coffee, I got up and jumped right on the work. I'd say it produced decent results...although I'm dog tired now. LOL!
Last night I took a time out for brainstorming my trusty yellow legal pad after I had a major writing "epiphany". (Isabelle, isn't that your word?) I mean the story just started pouring out; I couldn't write it all fast enough. I gave up with the laptop and jotted notes on the legal pad for about two hours, then put it away and went to bed. I never look that sort of thing over right after I've written it. I'll nit pick if I do.
Anyway, this morning, I looked at what I'd jotted down, and it's surprisingly organized. Choppy, not fleshed out in the least, but promising. I should also add that I have a serious crush on my new hero. LOL!

Where did all this epiphany business come from? Reading! I've been needing an inspirational kick, and finally I got it. I finished reading Lyndsay McKenna's The Quest around 10pm last night, and I wrote a quicky review of it, which is now up over at eHarlequin. All this before I sat down to brainstorm with pen and paper. After I read the book, I closed the cover and sat for a few minutes thinking about it, because while I saw many things my editor wouldn't have allowed me to get away with, the story grabbed me and at first I couldn't really figure out why.

The characters both have supernatural powers, which is interesting, but I've read a lot of books like that. The setting, while detailed, isn't necessarily one of my favorite places to go. Now, the plot...the plot...that was complex. The universe Ms. McKenna wrote the characters into was surprisingly complex and different.

I determined it was the plot I loved best, and I think it's because plot is something I sometimes struggle with when writing...characters having a purpose other than to meet and make *cough* romance. LOL! ^_^ With that in mind, I went straight to the laptop before cracking open my wip and did a google search on successful plot building. What did I find...?

Above is a link to Eileen Nauman's blog. The blog is dark; it hasn't been updated since last year, however, the irony in this accidental discovery is that Eileen Nauman just so happens to be Lindsay McKenna - who's story I was pondering about in the first place. Freakish!
Small world, no?

For those that write, Ms. Nauman has a really interesting post up about plotting at that blog link. No surfing required, just click and you're there. I read over it, and it's had my brain going since. The things she points out are simple in theory, and are probably a given, but not something you might think of unless you really sat down and got all technical on yourself about the craft. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not so likely to do that. :P
With everything in mind from what I read there about plotting, as I already said - the story came pouring out. I came up with an entire passable plotline for the full length novel I'm attempting to write. In short, I'm no longer winging it.
I'm curious to see how long I can stick with it, and if my story will stay on track.
That's it for me today. I've rambled more or less, sorry about that. I tend to do that when I've got books on the brain. LOL!
Happy hump day!


  1. Ohhh... I LOVE EPIPHANIES! They make you feel invincible, don't they?

    It's a wonderful feeling of productivity. Good job! ;)

  2. I'm a fan of epiphanies too! Mine are usually accompanied by a head smack and a 'Doh! Why didn't I think of that sooner?'

  3. Awesome, Cora! I love jotting ideas down! :*)

    Hope you come up with an awesome story! :*)

  4. "After I read the book, I closed the cover and sat for a few minutes thinking about it, because while I saw many things my editor wouldn't have allowed me to get away with, the story grabbed me and at first I couldn't really figure out why."

    What aren't you allowed to get away with? I'm just being a curious George in wanting to know..

    Glad you are getting farther along, I bet it's a good feeling!

  5. Isabelle, they do make one feel invincible, now that I think about it. ^_^ You just sorta of want to get up and do the Rocky victory dance in the living room. LOL!

  6. LOL, Jennifer!

    My Doh! moments typically involve mishaps with MSWord, and/or thinking I've lost files only to realize later I haven't scrapped them, I've renamed them or moved them to a different folder. Why do I do that? LOL!

  7. Thanks, Demon! ^_^ I'm one of those jot it down before writing people. I can't help it. LOL

  8. Gosh, Crystal, I'm just getting back to responding and it's been a few days... eep! Didn't mean to leave you hanging if you've been waiting for a response.

    Each publisher is different and have their own guidelines for what's acceptible and what isn't. My editor would've have allowed me to use so many LY words, or as/action combinations like "he went to the door as he thought about..." or "she smiled as he walked past her frowning". There are some instances of showing vs. telling. Things like that and my editor would make me revise.

    The thing is the author writes a really good plot and paces the story very well. There's a lot to learn from her, and the other books in the series.

    I hope this sort of explains what I meant in the post.


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