A blog for lovers of pocket novels written by a group of authors who are: Kate Allan, Cara Cooper, Fay Cunningham, Noelene Jenkinson, Patricia Keyson, Chrissie Loveday, Carol MacLean, Fenella Miller, Margaret Mounsdon and Sally Quilford
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
How do you plot?
I have just started to write something new after a gap of more than a year. I have not been away from writing, just putting up my blacklist on to Smashwords and Kindle. At the moment I am editing "A Chance Encounter" which will be the 12th Regency romantic adventure to be published on KDP. At the same time I am attempting to add 1000 words a day to my new book which is entitled "The Duke's Proposal".
What has this to do with plotting? Well – I am writing this new book without any planning at all – the original story came to me when I was half asleep and I was so pleased to have something to put down on the blank screen, that I went with it. I dictated 2000 words, while doing so the main characters came alive in my head, as did the setting. However, I then had to go back and write the opening chapters and when I got to the scene I had written I realised neither character would have behaved like this and so the entire thing was scrapped. I didn't mind as writing this had got me going again. If I had plotted story before I started I would have avoided wasting 2000 words. I don't write my Regency books with any more planning than an idea and voices of the two main characters in my head. I then let the story develop, characters go where they want, and it works for me.
With my mainstream historical novels, "Barbara's War and Hannah's War", I worked quite differently. I needed to do a timeline, far more research, and have a page of notes for the plot. Not as detailed as an outline, more a guide.
Jean Fullerton plots her books scene by scene, she puts everything on a virtual A3 sheet, before she starts. She notes down significant historical events, whose point of view she will be using for that scene, and a couple of lines on what will actually happen. Therefore when she starts writing the book she knows exactly where she's going, can tick off a scene as it's done, and check the historical accuracy. It works by her – she is a well-known and respected writer of historical fiction. "Call Nurse Millie", her latest book is already proving to be a big hit with readers.
Maureen Lee,a bestselling historical saga writer, does no written planning but works the whole story out in her head before she starts. She does her research whilst she is writing, not before she starts.
How do you do it? It's always fascinating to get inside a writer's mind – I would be interested to hear what other writers do.
Fenella J Miller