Thursday, 10 January 2013

It's decided. I need a plot outline...

God, I know I should be ecstatic that the sun is shining but, dammit, it is just too frigging hot here at the moment. Sticky, clammy, disgusting, sweat-rolling-down-your-back heat. In other words, it is humid, which is a word not supposed to apply to Perth weather. I feel betrayed by all those websites and weather reports which clearly stated that Perth does not suffer badly from humidity. 

Honestly, all I want to do is lie down in front of the air con and watch John Hughes movies with iced coffees and Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. Well, two out of four isn't bad, right? However, I have managed to open the laptop and write 3,000 words of my WIP so I feel like I have really achieved something despite this vile, muggy weather. 

Old couch

I still have no idea where this new book is heading and I'm wondering if it really is necessary to have a rough approximation of plot at this stage (15,000 words in). Nathan Bransford thinks that you do, Caro Clark looks at both sides of the coin (although really, she says to plot) and Neil Griiffiths says, ' No. Absolutely don't do it!'

From wasting time on the Internet doing some research, I think I would really benefit from roughing out a plot outline as I do feel rather stuck at the moment. I spent twenty minutes deciding on a  closing sentence for the last chapter I wrote, which has nothing to do with the will to write a really good closing sentence and everything to do with not having the faintest idea of what was going to happen next. A new sort of displacement activity for me.

I also purchased Writing a Romance Novel For Dummies by Leslie Wainger who has 25 years experience in the Romance business. So far, it is a little repetitive and common-sensical but I think once I get into the nitty-gritty chapters, it will be an excellent resource. I'm almost certain she will say plot, plot, plot. 

 Edit to add: Wainger mentions category romance a lot and I'm thinking of researching this a little more and trying my hand at it. As she says, if you are time short (Yes!), then category romance could be a great way to go. It's shorter than Mainstream Romance (as short as 50,000 words) and publishers provide tip sheets for what they want from their lines. I've heard of quite a few best selling authors who started off writing category romance and now sell bazillions of mainstream romance novels. 

Lesson learnt - plot (which means shopping for a big new pinboard or whiteboard - yay!). Even if it's a really super rough outline. Your novel and, if you're anything like me, your waistline will thank you for it. Are you a plotter? Or more of a chilled out what will be, will be-er?


  1. Gabby, keep writing and the plot will come. You may have to inject bit of plot in the earlier bits or re-write bits, but don't let it stop you writing! Have fun in the sun.

    1. I hope so! Still plodding on although I do have a very rough plot outline now. Will probably change a lot as I go on but, you're right, keeping on writing is the key!