Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mastering plot. . .

As I have said before plot is not my strong point. I struggle with it. My friend Paulette at 700blankpages has got it. So with her help I eeked out a great plot for my second book.

When I typed out my scenes/chapters I origionally started with a white page with black text on the left side of the page. Then I added the plot points I was trying to establish, transition notes in necessary chapters, and the relevance of the scene in the basic plot of the story.

On a whim I highlighted the parts where the antagonist is present or antagonizing my MC's in yellow and it looked like this. . .

Please note: by nature of origination, I own these plotlines and they are copyrighted by me.

Then I had an awesome idea, what if I highlightd the other parts in diferent colors? I asked myself, so I did. Anyway here is what I came up with. . .

Here is the color code so you have an idea what this post is about.
Light blue- MC's moving from average guy to better guy.
Pink- MC's romance with the girl, and the girls actions.
Yellow- the bad guys actions.
Green- MC's best friend and his part in the book
Red- MC's normal life
Grey- MC's past
Purple- times and seasons (marking time)
dark blue- secondary characters
No highlight- writing notes

If you notice the three main plots: MC's progression, (light blue) the romance (pink) and the antagonist (yellow) are the most seen colors. Then the others are nicely interspersed throughout the body of the book.

Judging by the colors, I think the plot appears well rounded and pretty evenly interspersed. What do you think?

Please note: by nature of origination, I own these plotlines and they are copyrighted by me.


Anonymous said...

That's a pretty cool way of checking the balance of your plot! Not to mention it looks cheerful. :^>

Noble M Standing said...

It definately tells me if something is unballanced. I was able to see that the plot was pretty evenly spread. And that the bad guy was there and not there when he was supposed to be.

Cathy Witbeck said...

Wow, who ever thought you could color code a plot. Neat idea. Sure lays it all out. Thanks for sharing.

Rukia said...

oooooo.... pretty colors....

...did i help you with your 2nd book plot? i have such a short-term memory. i don't even recall. lol

hehehe. My word verification today is: ditio! Like dito, but not. I think i'll start saying that. :)

Kim said...

Looks like lots of work, but very cool! Sometime if I can find some time, I'll have to try it.

But I struggle with just finding writing time.

Cindy Beck said...

That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

Mary said...

I like the idea of color coding. I even color coded my kids. This looks like a great idea. Now, if I could only get the first 100 words on paper.......erphero! Oops, that's the word verification for today. better put it where it belongs.

Noble M Standing said...

Cathy Thank you and your welcome. :)

Rukia, yes i sent you the main plot lines and you helped with he antagonists story. The stalker scenes.

Kim, The plotline outline did take some time but it was worth it. Color coding it took less then an hour. Waiting till I have a color cartridge to print it? FOREVER :)

Cindy, Thank you and your welcome.

Mary, I color coded my kids too (grin). I will admit to alot of planning time otherwise I only write un-cohesive scenes and not a book. At least my first drafts are full of cool scenes that i can now use as i develop plots and real books.

As a mom there are days I don't write at all and it frustrates me. Other times i sit at the computer with a blank screen and a chunk of time and cant write anything and that frustrates me too. I know I am a better writer and a faster typist
in the morning so as soon as the older kids go to school and the two little ones are still asleep I go downstairs and write. I also put the 2 year old down for anap after the 5 yo goes to kindergarten and i have another 2 hours to write or do something i need to do.

I have realized that if I want to really write, I need to make it a priority and make time and force myself to do it. nuff said.