By Valerie Routhieaux
Day 10: Plotting
Today, I will discuss plotting your novel, short story, article, or poem. What is the main theme of your work? Are you writing fiction or non-fiction? Is your work mainstream or sweet? Mainstream is what most people read, filled with every kind of vulgarity and or sexual content the author can dream up. Sweet being the opposite and often spiritually based. Even poetry needs a plot when you consider the many ballads written by those famous authors – Shakespeare for instance.
When plotting your novel, you need to know the basic elements—setting/location; historical, present, future; characters, your main characters, hero, and heroine plus your secondary characters. How many characters will you have? What is your genre? There are many genres to choose from—romance, historical romance, contemporary romance, historical, mystery, science fiction, western, chiller/horror and the list goes on interminably.
With the new series I’m working on, I started plotting my story in Excel to keep it organized. Which also brings up another plot point—will it be a single novel or a series?
Plotting takes place before you start work on your novel. If it’s a non-fiction work, you also need to outline and know how many chapters it will be. The chapters define the essence of the book. For instance, you can have several parts to your non-fiction book, and within each part several chapters to explain each section.
If you’re a pantser, as I mentioned on day one, plotting doesn’t always work well. You are either a plotter or pantser. Most authors or writers can’t be both. I don’t know any who are.
Once you have your plot, it’s time to start writing. If you’re a plotter, tell me how you plot your work. Thanks for reading.
Tomorrow’s Perspective: Pantser