Friday, September 26, 2014

Holes In Your Story? Maybe You Should Consider Plotting

Before I get started on this, I want to say that I don't want to hear from any of you out there who believe plotting takes away your creativity. Plotting has nothing to do with creativity. It has everything to do with organization and spotting those mistakes in your story before you get to them.

As most of you know, I am a big fan of plotting. When we plot stories, we can actually write faster because we know where we are going but more importantly, you can spot the holes in your story well in advance. I hear far too many author out there who believe that being a pantster is the best way to go. Of course the majority of those authors also speak of hitting brick walls in the middle of their stories and then having to figure out how to get out of the mess. Often that requires backtracking and re-writing large sections of your story.

Now I don't know about you, but I simply do not have the time to waste to go back and do something again. My time is precious and to go back and completely re-write something that I spent hours working on the first time is not a good use of time.

You really don't have to plot out everything in a formal outline so you know every page number when things are going to happen, but you should take the time to know how your characters are going to get from Point A to Point B in your story. You should plot it out long enough to know how the bad guy causes the trouble, how the characters get to that dark moment and most importantly, how they are going to get out of it.

In recent weeks, I have read several full manuscripts from authors who are clearly writing by the seat of their pants and not plotting. I am finding huge holes in the story. Somehow the characters end up in a location and they never left the first place. Somehow they find out something about the other character, but they were never in a situation to get that piece of information.

We have to remember these are huge issues for our readers. They will nail you hard for these mistakes. Sure, there will be many who miss the mistake, or they might be nice and allow that mistake, but unfortunately, too many will completely write you off and never return to your writing. They have lost faith in you and your writing.

Do me a favor. If you are someone who hasn't ever tried it, take the time to do so. You might be surprised that you still have your creativity and you have found all of those mistakes.

No comments:

Post a Comment