Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Plotting by Ron Crouch

Generally, when I start writing a story, it’s already inside my head. Not in its entirety, but I have a pretty good idea of the main theme. Because of that I don’t (as yet) suffer from writer's’ block. I am not daunted by a blank page. Because computers are such fickle things (my wife tells me it’s not the computer) I’ve taken to writing out my chapters by hand before heading to a word document.

I have to remind myself who the characters are and write down their names and how they are interconnected to the other characters. I make note of such details as their eye colour, whether or not they are left or right handed. How they take their coffee and so forth. As the story progresses this becomes more and more important. Readers will spot a discrepancy as though the details were written in red ink. Sometimes I’ll keep an exercise book for each novel, or lately, I re-use the plain side of a previously printed document. Each writer will obviously have their own methods, likely most would find my haphazard methods confusing.

I’m always thinking of new ways to do things, what worked for me on one novel, I’ll likely change on the next. When I go to bed I think about how the next chapter is going to come together, how all the characters within that chapter will relate to one another. How that chapter will lead into the next and onward towards the end of the story. When I’ve finished the story I go back and check the details against my original notes.

Writing a story is the easy part. For the Brides series I have a pile of researched material, some of which may never be used, however, the knowledge gained from the journey was worth the effort.  

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