[Writing] Plotting’s hard work!

DebE —  September 2, 2012 — 1 Comment

Hello, my peeps!

So, I thought I’d keep you up to date with the goings on … well, somewhat, anyway.

First up, I’m looking forward to finding out the outcome of the Contest I entered at the end of July. In all honesty, I don’t expect to have come anywhere, but the results being out means I can move on with things.

My son and our dog at the park

It’s good to get away from the computer now and then – these guys certainly appreciate it.

It’s been a strangely tough time of late. Of course, first up, I rushed my manuscript finished for that contest. I put it away for a few days and set to work on the next book. But, working on that book got me thinking of things that could do with being tweaked in the first book, so, of course, I couldn’t leave it alone … So, I tweaked, and then I went on to editing.

And then there was this Cover Contest on offer, too. Of course, I figured that since a publishing contract was a very slim possibility from the Manuscript Contest that I may as well enter this so that, if I were lucky enough to win it, I’d have a cover lined up for when I go Indie.

And then there were the AMP Scholarships opening up. I did it last year, but I know that application was a bit wishy-washy. This year I have more of an idea of what I needed and why, so I filled in an application and even submitted it. The closing date was Friday (NZ Time).

It’s an odd feeling to me, to be putting all these things out there … I mean, the most likely outcome is that I’d get nothing from from any of them, and that would be OK. But, because I did enter, there is that small chance that something in my manuscript happens to grab the judge (even if I have since improved it … oops) and I win a critique. That would be cool. That’s the one prize I don’t see interfering with anything else. But, what if he offered publication and I won a free cover? I’d feel bad, when someone else could have won that prize. And, if I win a free cover–a fee which I’ve built into my Scholarship application–would I feel OK if I then got money from that scholarship that I no longer needed (I’d still need the money to get an edit–assuming I didn’t win the critique … or, if I did, assuming I still needed an edit)?

Isn’t it weird? I’d be happy not to win anything. But if I won everything (which would mean I’d got something right, at least once) I’d feel stink. I really would.

And then there is the–not so–small matter of me being in promising  discussions with another small publisher recently …  but that’ll be another post.

The question plaguing me is: Why does everything have to be going on all at once?

This month, though, all that will change. The contests will all come to a close and I can move on. That’s all I want to do now. Get on with it.

Which is what I’m trying to do, anyway. I’m plotting Book2 (Haven’t decided on a title, yet … something to do with a Soldier, or Warrior, is the plan, though … I’ve done Healer already, and then it’ll be Magician or Sorcerer something …). It’s amazingly hard! I have all these characters, and I have all these conflicts going on, and I have to pick the major one to focus on. I know I want this book to be more about Jonas, since the first one was about Llew.

But I also know that Llew is still the one with the most to lose … so, she’s still the MC. I’ve got a bunch of scenes in mind (and noted down – it’s OK, I won’t forget them!).

I’ve got a climax in mind. I’ve even got a bit of a Midpoint in mind. Oh, and I have an opening … it’s even kind of funny (or so I think).

So, now I need to decide: what is the inciting incident? What’s my first Plot Point/Major Crisis (depending who’s plotting advice you’re following)? What’s my second Plot Point/Major Crisis? What’s the lowest point? (Well, I have an idea in mind as far as Jonas is concerned … but I have it in mind for that to happen earlier, so I should probably do something to Llew at this point).

With my first story, I started out as a panstser – although I had the ending in mind from pretty close to the beginning. Then I went and outlined and found the process quite rewarding. I then applied Larry Brooks’ story structure (sorry, I can’t find the cool tent-shaped PDF file I got from his site …), which helped me complete my story with a little more confidence in it’s wider appeal. That book went through so many changes – gosh, the number of beginnings I tried … those scenes I’d still like to see somewhere in my series, somehow … and all those different arrangements of revelations for my characters – no wonder I get a little confused now and then about what they know at any one time.

And so, this time, I’d like to nut all that out at the start.

Especially as I have a young family, and we aren’t finished yet.

You see, the year in which I was pregnant with and gave birth to Josh, my writing pretty well stagnated. I didn’t stop writing, but I didn’t make progress. This time, I want to make progress. If I can’t, then I want to have Books 2 & 3 completed … you can see my dilemma.

I figure, if I at least have a road map to follow, I can continue to move forward. However, July showed me what I can do if I put my mind to it (and if I have a road map …). So, I’d like to think I can get these books drafted fairly swiftly … I’d like to think so. My big plan is to release them not too much after Book 1 … Keep the punters happy. I’m hoping for punters (o:

Well, there wasn’t really a point to this post. It’s a “this is where I’m at” ramble.

For other writers out there:

Do you struggle to fit your writing around your life? Or vice versa? How do you plan?

Does plotting come easily to you? Got any favourite techniques? Or are you just plain gifted (o: ?




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

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  1. Starting over … | Deb E - October 10, 2012

    […] [Writing] Plotting’s hard work! (deberelene.wordpress.com) […]

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