Tuesday, June 21, 2011
How do you plot?
Plot has always been something I've struggled with. I love characters and intriguing relationships and situations and scenarios, and can come up with those in a snap, but getting those ideas from the character scenario point to a novel worthy plot is a whole different thing, and much harder for me.
But I've been learning. The system I use currently is this: I start out with the character and scenario that I like and that I think I want to work with. Then I look through old notebooks and books from my bookshelf and cards from the game Liebrary and think and think until I have a bullet-point type list of plot points, just like a half sentence describing each. Something like, "Ben finds the lost golden retriever on his porch". I grow the list as much as I can until its nice and long. Then I break the list up into tentative chapters, make sure I have enough, see where the plot holes are and try and fill in where I need to. Then I go chapter by chapter, changing plot points around or adding as needed.
What do you do? Do you just start from the character scenario place and just go and see where it takes you? If so, how? Or do you have paragraph length descriptions for each chapter? I would seriously love to know how you go about building a story. Specifics are good, I think we all could use some advice and fresh ideas.