I just finished my initial plotting for my new WIP, a YA sci-fi. It’s still early days in the writing process, but I feel like I’ve accomplished a significant milestone all the same.
Plus, it’s nice to be advancing on one of my authorial goals for the year.
In a general sense, plotting comes fairly easily to me. I treat my outline as a roadmap, showing the various plot points I need to visit on the way to the story’s destination. I don’t, however, adhere slavishly to any predefined plan. Just as there are many avenues into the heart of a city, there are many pathways to a story’s climax. This works well for me.
I have a harder time with the emotional arc of the characters. The external action of the plot, the mechanics of it, are relatively clear in my head most of the time. The character arcs are far fuzzier. In this WIP, I’m trying very hard to plan out the emotional arcs of the characters alongside the mechanical plot points. I hope that this will accomplish two things. First, by thinking about the inner lives of the characters sooner, I will develop the characters earlier in process and, hopefully, avoid editorial headaches down the road. Secondly, with any luck this will ensure the emotions of the characters mesh nicely with the action from the get-go, again eschewing the brambles of ill-defined characters late in the process. Wish me luck. I’m sure I’ll be posting on this more in the future.