30 March 2010

How Many Plot-lines Does Your Story Have?

After nearly 10 years of providing Plot Consultations to writers all over the world, I have come to appreciate the varied ways writers approach the writing process and write. Last week and this, I have had the honor of working with a writer with a unique approach.

He has at least five plot lines going on (nothing unusual there):
  • Character Emotional Development = inner
  • Dramatic Action = murder mystery = outer
  • Thematic Significance
  • Orphan story
  • Romance 
I first consulted with this writer nearly a year and a half ago. Then, he had a strong character emotional development or internal plot line with very little in terms of the external murder mystery plot. Since then, he has worked non-stop developing well-thought out plot lines for each of the elements most important to his story. For each of the six suspects, he developed complex back stories, motives, and alibis. The pre-work he has done is awe-inspiring.

So why come to me? He needed help weaving all the plot lines together into a suspenseful and exciting, poignant and emotional story.

His Plot Planner is likely the longest one I have ever created for another writer -- my personal Plot Planners always tend to be on the loooong side.

This writer has a two-week vacation coming up in a week. With the plan in front of him, he has only to write each next scene as they appear on the Plot Planner. No need to use his linear, logical, critical side of his brain at all. He's done all that.

Now is the time to write.

Simply write what is in front of him.

Get a first draft on the page.

Let it rest.

Rewrite at least once.

Then send out to the waiting agent and editor....

Sounds like heaven to me.

Inspired process. True dedication. Professional approach. Amazing story.

I wish him all the success in the world!!

(For any of you curious about how I come by putting the puzzle pieces together:
Jigsaw Puzzles, Not Everyone Likes Them )

(For a bit about how to create your own Plot Planner with multiple plot lines:
Plot Writing )