Welcome Roseanne Dowell
To Plot or Not
Recently, at one of our local chapter of RWA meetings, the speaker spoke about plotting a novel and writing a synopsis before the book was written. She suggested if we had never done that to try it. So I did. I had an idea for a story and it was taking shape in my mind. As usual, I knew how it would begin and how it would end. What happened in the middle? I didn’t have a clue. Oh, I had a few ideas. I knew there was a secret about my heroine’s birth. But I didn’t have too many other ideas. I wanted a dead body to appear someplace that the heroine would find. But I had no idea who he was (yes, I knew it was a male) or why he was killed.
So I tried plotting.
I came up with a few ideas about his identity and even about who murdered him. But, I still had no idea why. Okay, I thought I had enough to start plotting. So I did and came up with a pretty good story line, so I started writing. And I wrote and it flowed pretty well, until I got to the dead body. I was able to have my heroine discover the body.
Then I was stuck. I was totally blocked.
The story sat for the better part of the year without me typing even one word. Every time I opened it, I’d read what I had written, make a few changes and then I got to the part where I was stumped. I stared at the computer, sometimes for hours, trying to come up with something, anything –even if it was garbage – just to get me past that hump. I couldn’t do it. So I’d move on to something else. I revised several other stories that I’d written a long time ago.
It wasn’t until one day; I was emailing my writing buddy about how I was stuck. I needed help and any suggestions she could offer would be most welcome. I wrote what I had so far, where I wanted the story to go. For some reason, in that email, I started to ask what if, which is how I usually write. I threw out a couple of ideas to her and answered them myself. Finally, I was unblocked. I created a new character to add to the story and another conflict. This is how I usually write, asking what if as I write, coming up with new ideas.
For me, plotting doesn’t work. I’ll never do it again. For others, it works fine and good for them.
I guess my whole point is – write the way it’s comfortable for you, not the way others think you should.
My current novel, Time to Live Again is available from Red Rose Publishing – http://redrosepublishing.com
You can visit me at my website www.roseannedowell.com
or my blog http://roseannedowellauthor.blogspot.com/
Roseanne is the mother of six, grandmother of thirteen with another on the way and soon to be great grandmother. She teaches writing classes at Long Story Short Writing School – www.lsswritingschool.com You can find more of Roseanne’s work at Amazon.com, just type in her name. Besides writing, Roseanne enjoys reading, quilting, ceramics, and making jewelry.