Plotting Wolf’s Promise-A Pantser Attempts to Plot
Every writer creates their story in their own way. Some have a very detailed outline set up before they ever beginning writing. Those are “plotters”. They have every step of the plot meticulously planned. Others have a hero and heroine at Point A and know they will be in love and happy by Point B. Those are “pantser”. They write by the seat of their pants. How exactly the H/h will get to Point B is vague when they begin writing.
Most writers fall between plotter and pantser but lean more in one direction than the other. I have always been a pantser. Really, REALLY a pantser. On May 26 my fellow Liquid Silver Books author Tina Holland taught a workshop at our local critique group meeting on how to use a plotting board. I’ve been waiting ever since to try it out. But the only place I have to lay out a plotting board is my kitchen table. And wouldn’t you know it, my kitchen light died on May 30. I’ve called the apartment management three times. Finally, last night I went and bought a cheapo floor lamp. Putting it together was not as successful as I would have liked. But though it leans like a drunken sailor, it does the job. I have Wolf’s Promise loosely plotted!
I thought others might like to know how I used it. Everyone uses a plotting board differently, I’m sure. As you can see, the story will take place over a very short time, only a few days. I am using a white board with a blank calendar printed on it. The actual action takes place between Monday December 29 and Thursday January 1. Here is what I did:
1. In the vertical Sunday column I wrote “Connie” in the first two squares, and “Des” in the next two squares, and “Other” in the last square. That is for setting.
2. In the Monday column I wrote the date “29” in the corner of all five squares. In the Tuesday column I wrote “30”, in the Wednesday, “31” and in the Thursday, “1”.
3. Then I began writing choppy sentences on the stickies. The bright pink stickies are for Connie’s actions. “Break up cat fight” etc. The dark blue stickies are for Des’ actions. “”Ask Connie to be mate”. Orange are for back story. “Connie: plane crash”. White stickies are for Goals/Motivation. “C: keep women safe”. Yellow-green are setting. “At PWH”. Purple are love scenes.
4. Place stickies on the appropriate day on either Connie or Des’ squares.
The light blue stickies on the left side of the board are Des’ back story, some of which will play a part in the story and some won’t. For instance, his mother was murdered by townsmen, and he now hates townsmen. In order to marry Connie he has to be able to live with townsmen. His ultimate Goal is to win Connie, which is on a white sticky. Those things obviously will be in the story. He doesn’t like cats, milk or the color purple. Those things probably won’t be in the story. Connie’s back story on the lighter pink.
If while I’m writing I decide to change the sequence I can just move the sticky.
Is that clear? It is to me, kind of. I guess we’ll see how it goes when I start writing this afternoon! 🙂