Monday, August 29, 2011

Plotting Tools

Back in High School I had this amazing English teacher, he was the person that believed in my writing enough to get me to this point. (For the full story click here) Anyway, he made us plot. He taught us the value of thinking ahead of time so that our writing would be conveyed clearly.

I enjoyed neatly outlining my little five paragraph papers and I tried to apply those techniques to writing a novel, but it didn't work for me. I still did free write sessions to get ideas before writing, but an outline felt too detailed. For me, it killed the fun of writing.

Looking back I regret that, I wish that I had come up with a big picture view so that I wasn't re-writing my book at this point. Lesson learned.

Thankfully, the online writing community has provided me with a wealth of new ways to look at outlining and plotting, so today I thought I would share them with you.

The first one is called The Eight Sequences, it actually refers to play writing, but it's a good model for a novel as well. I like this tool becasue you can do a broad outline, but still get a strong feel for the path your book is going to take. (I found this method on someone's blog, but I can't remember who -- so if it was you, give me a nudge)

The next tool is the Main Character Survey on Manon Eileen's blog. This is an in depth, psychological look at your character. I would suggest using it for all of you main players, becasue it is seriously eye opening.

Last, but not least, is 750 words. This handy little site was started as way for people to write private journal entries and pick apart their moods and the things they center their lives on. The reason it is so great for writers is becasue you can write parts of your book and pick apart your characters moods and thoughts. It's a great tool to get perspective, and the amount of stats really blew my mind. Everything is analyzed so well.

So, there you have it. I hope these sites help you as much as they've helped me, and if you have other resources I would love to hear them!

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