Plot dissection

Yes, you read it right.

For the past week, I have been dissecting my plot so that I can see exactly what is going on. I have written out notes for every single scene change in the whole book. It took me ages! Every scene is written on a separate piece of paper so that I can see where all the scene changes are, and I can find things much easier.

I have now put these pieces of paper on my wall. Do you want to see it?

(Wow, my desk is untidy! Please don’t look at it….please….don’t….I can see you looking!)

As you can see, there are lots of scenes. Although, I am a first time writer, so I have no idea if I have a lot, about the normal amount, or too little…..any comments?
They are read in columns, So the book starts at the far left, you read down each column, and then move to the top of the next and so on…
Each pink line indicates the start of a new chapter, so you can see I currently have a Prologue, 29 chapters, and an Epilogue. This will probably change once I begin adding in my additional scenes.

I have some changes to make with this edit. I have a character to add, and a few tweaks with the current plot, so doing this means I can easily see how to weave in this new character, and where the tweaks can go.

Once this edit is complete, it will be going to the NWS readers.

And then I can start on notes for book two……

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8 thoughts on “Plot dissection

  1. Wow, Lucie, you've been working hard… I feel slightly ashamed of my completely-on-the-laptop ms now… Been thinking about printing it out to give it its final workover, and you've just persuaded me to do it! Thanks.

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  2. Well done you. My dining room table is covered with index cards showing me each of my chapters. I think I need to start sticking them on a wall like you, it's far tidier.

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  3. Wow! This looks like a really good way of seeing your whole story, and also being able to look at the chapters and each of its scenes. Much better than on computer. I have to see things laid out like this too!

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  4. Thank you for all your comments!Jane: Don't feel ashamed, you are a published author – you must be doing something right! 🙂 Oh, and I am set to start 'Please Don't Stop the Music' tonight (I know, 2 months late – better late than never) Debs – yes it is much tidier than leaving it out on my desk (plus I ran out of space on the desk so it had to go somewhere) It's handy to just glance up and find things too.Hannah – hello! It's been ages since we chatted. Hope you are well? Yes, it is a great way to see the story as a whole, and also helps to point out holes in the plot…

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  5. Oh my goodness, that could be the story sheet of my first novel! I had 62 notes/chapters, each of them tasked with giving the plot a kick up the arse. All that planning got me an agent, who made me rewrite the entire ms – and cut about 10k words from the start. The book was eventually published by Little Black Dress: Smart Casual by Niamh Shaw. So planning does pay off. Good luck and happy writing!

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  6. Thanks! Whilst doing all that planning, you start to wonder if it is all worth it, but so many people say to me that it is. I do find it very useful to be able to see the whole novel at a glance.

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  7. Wow! That's an impressive amount of preparation. When I was writing my first book (Winter's Shadow – out in June) I found an outline to be invaluable, but it was only a couple of pages. I can only imagine that if I'd gone to the trouble you have I might have skipped the whole blubbering mess stage I entered about half-way through the manuscript when I realised I had no idea where the story was going.

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