I have an untitled, fantasy/steam-fi young adult novel I’m currently working on. The point of view and tense are still baffling me, but the elaborate story is unraveling onto the page in a beautiful mess. While the characters mesmerize me, the contrasting, stark and illustrious, setting is a character in its own right. All of this combined makes me super-duper excited to write a story that will intrigue and take the reader on a journey they’ve never been on before.
I happen to be quite the planner. Outlines, character bios, and writing exercises make me happy. That should be enough to write 80,000 action-filled, fresh, fantastic, heart-wrenching words.
Building a plot/story arc that’s strong enough to carry the reader, and twisty enough to keep it interesting, is not just about an outline or an awesome super power. My fabulous and ferocious characters need to be called to action, emotionally and physically. There’s a need for tension and build up, but it has to make sense for the characters to be in the middle of it.
Set up. Climax. Resolution.
Seems easy enough, right? I really think it can be easy if you flesh it out. That means a lot of brainstorming, backstory, and bloopers. One of the best favors you can do for your story is to reevaluate your plot multiple times throughout the writing process. I’ve been surprised to see my plot grow and even change course 20,000 words in.
This diagram is the best I’ve found that aptly displays the plot I’m currently working on. Creative chaos is the best description for the work I’m doing on a daily basis. And, no matter how often it shifts or morphs you have to keep sliding through it, making your story, characters and setting better and better.
Just remember to keep writing. You can go back and add detail during the revision stage. Keep explicit notes, and hold on to them. I’ll be keeping you updated on this WIP (work-in-progress), along with all the crazy-plot-changes, kooky-character-quirks, and mad-writing-mayhem.
I’d love to know how you like to plot out your new stories. Please, leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.