15 October 2014

Dancing between Plotting the Overall Story Level and Writing at the Word Level

Writing at the word level is an act of grace for writers, especially so writers who prefer turning inward rather than outward in their writing lives (inward-writing / outward-selling) and love to withdraw to the refuge of listening only to the muse. Diving deep into ideas that excite you makes you feel vital and alive. Welcoming in just the right words and images and emotions and creating beauty through your words becomes a meditation, a devotion.

(I include the image to the right because the very talented Victoria at Whit andWare Design just shared this banner option for my ezine and I wanted to share it!)

Plotting at the overall story level, however, is more of a challenge. To step back and consider the story in its entirety requires the integration of themes and transformation, excitement and suspense, love and connection. Rather than through discovery at the word level, pre-plotting and plotting and testing your plot often demands stepping outside your place of comfort and taking risks with your story, big risks.

For those of you following along in the The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing in our final surge to the climax, with the novel I resisted for so long, as in all things, the actual doing (writing the scenes up to and including the Crisis / Dark Night) turns out to be a breeze compared to the storm caused by all my resistance. I hope you've had the same feelings of relief to have those scenes written no matter who sketchy or trite or skimming the surface… for now. Of course, now we face the daunting challenge of lifting our stories to a satisfying climax. Ah, well, conflict is inherent in all stories and in all writers' lives and often our personal lives, too.

Today, rather than write, I'm filming a vine as I design the Plot Planner for the story. If all goes smoothly (though, as in most things I seem to undertake, I have no idea what I'm doing!) I'll share the short video on my Youtube channel later today.

Oh, and if you're planning to write 50,000 words next month with NaNoWriMo, following are plot and writing resources to help you prepare:

1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories

2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
named BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS by Poets and Writers. The author provides insight on how to create works of fiction with powerful stories and focuses on how to devise a Universal Plot, plot lines and subplots, compelling scenes, and character transformation.

***** Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot reinforces daily writing practice and allows for more productivity in your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts in The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.

Today I write! Rather, today I plot!