Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WRITING TIP: Understanding Your Own Plotting Technique

The farther I journey down this path of WRITER-LIFE, trying to grow as an author, the more I appreciate the value of critique groups, of reading good books, and of being a forever-student of the craft.

Recently, I came up with a new manuscript idea that didn't fit into the verse mode (or even the first-person narrative form) which I have employed in the past. So, to help flesh out my idea, I signed up for a WRITING CLASS with the inimitable Katherine Grace Bond.  The class is called THE PLOT THICKENS and my goal was to work up a plot outline of more breadth and depth than I had ever done before. The class is amazing--full of fantastic theories and tips and great advice and wonderful classmates. Nonetheless, I began to feel anxious about doing the assignments. So, I did what I always do: I wrote about THAT.

And I discovered something AMAZING. What I am learning from this class is not so much that I can turn myself from a "pantser" into a  geniune, organized "plotter" (small sigh of regret) but HOW to come to a deeper understanding of my own hybrid plotting-and-writing technique and find ways to make it better. I figured out how to turn my character maps into layers of a story map. I discovered MANY more questions I should be asking to connect the threads of character with solid plot.

I suppose the most important tip I want to share is that it is ALWAYS VALUABLE to reach out, to listen and to learn from other writers at all levels. In the end, it is the best way to improve, and more importantly, to continue to love your craft.