Sunday, 28 September 2014

Plotting a Novel. Part one

                       I have been asked a number of times if I plot my books or if I just sit down and write. I plot. Most definitely. I have tried the 'just write' technique and though I find it invaluable for scenes within the novel or if I am brainstorming, the novel itself as to be plotted. Of course as I write I discover that the book takes on a life of its own and it will often suggest a course I had not thought of previously. But for for that magic to happen I first need a framework. Once I have the framework I can fill in the details rather like colouring in a picture.  In my experience every writer works in a different way and what works for one may not work for another. But for those of you who have been asking me this here is part one of how I plot my novels.
When writing my books I first need a framework.
Plotting a novel - Part One. 
The basic framework.
I know it might sound simplistic but the first ingredients I need for a novel is a beginning a middle and an end. I have to have a good idea of what the essence of the book will be and the story I am intending to tell. Then I reduce the whole lot into one or at most two sentences. If I can do that then I know my aim is clear. The next step is to increase that sentence into three sentences. Then those three into nine and so forth. Each sentence follows the story in a chronological order from beginning to end. And each of those sentences becomes the basis of a chapter. I aim for around 30 chapters of around 3,000 words each but this is just a loose guide. The overall length of the book at this stage is judged to be around 90,000 words.

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