I don’t know much about plots. I have always assumed that plots are the action of the story. This is how I will proceed until I think/decide otherwise.
The problem with this approach is that I have to remember that the reader doesn’t know everything at every moment of time. They don’t know that this is a clever piece of dialog, because they don’t know the whole story. They don’t know that this is an ingenious plot twist.
The resolution to this problem at least for me, is to go back and add bits to the early part of the story to help prepare the reader for what is coming ahead without giving away the clever bit. Well at least I hope it is clever or at least unseen to some degree. Some wrinkle that the reader did not anticipate.
I am at the stage of outlining each scene. For this particular novel I know how it ends, where I want to get to geographically and character wise. Now I just have to get to from point A to point Z, that’s a lot of letters.
To help make this easier for me I have separated the journey into logical “chunks”. This has been the easy part. Travel to Planet A and see what’s going on and try and solve the mystery – the new information on Planet A forces us to travel to Planet B where our hero discovers critical information – but he also becomes sick! Sick unto death! This means they have to go to Planet C to get him healed and made well. To Planet C where they almost all die and escape to return to the starting planet. (The sentences in this paragraph have been brought to you by the letter “T”)
[There is a martyr in this story; who becomes the martyr? Well, we have to wait and see. You do at least, I know who becomes the martyr, I know who lives and who dies. Now if the characters will only behave, I will be on my way.]
Sadly plotting is not this simple for me. As each point in the plot is split apart and looked at, it becomes more complicated. Fearful that I will forget some key point of plot I have written somewhere, I am re-reading everything that I have written. This has forced me to re-write pieces and places already. This is based on how the characters have made themselves known to me.
Plotting has become one of those games where you shoot the large rock and it splits in half. Then those split in half and so on and so until they are gone. There is a lot of bits and pieces to this novel, to this, story. Hopefully it will fit in one book!
I stumbled across this quote:
Of all sad words of mouth or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been. — John Greenleaf Whittier
Or in my case: If I don’t write and outline, there will be nothing to correct into an actual novel.
‘Tis better to have plotted than to have never plotted at all.
Adieu mon ami I am off to PLOT!
Be Well – dcd