In keeping with the Bad Girlz series, here’s a post I recently made about my writing process…
Last week I pantsed a plot twist. I said it. It’s out there. I admit it.
I’ve been an advocate of plotting for years now. When my friends start talking about pantsing their books, I just roll my eyes. Crazy writers, going off with a few scribbled notes on a napkin to write a whole story! But, then it happened to me, and I have to admit it was invigorating. I was writing along following my scene notes when my hero took an unexpected hard left. The weird part? It works. His motivation is stronger now, and all the pieces fit together better than before. Why am I telling you this? Well, for one thing I’m excited about it. But, I also wanted you not to roll your eyes at this crazy writer when I talk about plotting.
Everyone has their process for writing, and you have to go with what works for you.
What works for me is plotting, (for the most part.) I storyboard my books. Every scene has a short synopsis for what needs to happen. This synopsis is usually 1 of 2 things:
One line of dialogue. An example from my almost finished wip is: “How can I believe anything you say now?” From this line I know the tone of this scene and by the end of it what needs to happen.
A concept from a movie. Some examples from my wip are: “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” And in a separate scene, “You got me monologuing!” From these statements, I know what needs to happen in the scene. This is probably because I’ve seen Dirty Dancing and The Incredibles too many times, but it works.
I type these notes. This is a recent change that I’ve found saves tons of writing time over handwriting. Now, I type, click print and then use scissors and a glue stick to create my scene cards. These index cards are then color coded for POV.
Pink = Heroine
Blue = Hero
Yellow = Villain
Green = Optional Additional POV
Plot turning points are marked with sparkly stickers. (Yeah, you read that right; sparkles make me happy.) This allows me to spread out my entire book to check for balance of POV, plot / character arcs and book length.
All of this being said, I’m a Have laptop, will travel sort of girl. So how do I make plotting fit my lifestyle? How do I manage being a plotter and not have it take up an entire room of my house where I must be to write? A pony tail holder. *grins* I number my cards and keep them together in the ever so portable hair band. But truthfully, I don’t refer to them very often.
Once the story is laid out to my satisfaction, I take the scene notes I typed and copy and paste them into my Word document in red font. Then I write my book in black…out of order. Whatever scene I feel inspired to write on any given day, I write. I delete the red notes as I complete a scene and once I have a whole document of black writing, I’m done. The End…
This is my process, what’s yours? I’d love to hear from you.
xx – E. Michels