Sunday, September 9, 2012

Plotting With Post-It Notes

This month we are discussing plotting. I am a visual person, so my favorite way to plot is to jot notes about the book onto Post-it Notes. The colors I use depend on what I have available. Each color represents a different thread in the story. This is an example:

:Pink - Romance
Orange - Romantic Conflict
Light Blue - Achieving the Major Goal
Dark Blue - His Character Arc
Yellow- Her Character Arc
Green - Black Moment

After I write the notes, I divide the white board into chapters and scenes. I write the setting, time, and point of view at the top of each box and then I place the notes in a way that the story builds the romance and their character arcs. The various colors show me if I'm dumping too much of one plot thread into one place or if I haven't shown the romance growing throughout the story.

I'll jot these notes into my computer and take it to Barnes and Noble where I work. When I wrote my short story, Once Upon a Weekend, which comes out 12/12/12, I placed each chapter onto construction paper on top of the boards. I folded the chapter I was working on and took it with me when I wrote.

Each author has their own way of plotting. This is mine and I enjoy the process. In the end, that's really all the matters.

Tina Swayzee McCright

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