Sunday, November 16, 2014
Review on Amazon. Susan Williamson's novel got me thinking about plotting because her book has a very action oriented plot. Writers I've known have a few different approaches to plotting. Some outline first, then wrap their final words around what's happening in the book. Others don't outline at all. I've found a compromise of the two approaches works best for me. If I outline everything, the result is too pat. But if I outline nothing, I wander off in dead end directions. So I start with a general idea of where I'm going, then outline specifics along the way. This way I keep on track, but still hold on to the possibility of surprise. A friend of mine (Monica Brinkman) once described an approach many writers use as a zig zag method. When her novels take her in an unexpected direction, she goes back to add the rational for the new plot elements. I suppose we all do a little of that. The job of a writer is to use words that keep the reader's attention. Plot is as important to that goal as ideas and character development.