Plotting to the End

So, I know that I’ve written about this before but I’m going to write about it again. When one writes, there are really only two ways of doing it. One way is to plot the story out from beginning to end, to have a road map so that the story doesn’t get bogged down by tangents. The other way is setting off into the great unknown and let your characters find the way for you.

Normally, I’m a pantser—especially when it comes from National Novel Writing Month (which starts in 7 days O_O). For me, the magic of writing comes from having a vague idea and maybe one or two scenes and letting the characters grow and develop as they will. This pantsing approach has led to problems in the past, but more often then not it has worked out just fine for me in the end. There usually does come a point for me in NaNo where I do have to figure out where the story is headed but that’s usually well past the halfway point.

This year is a whole other kettle of fish though. Because I’ve chosen a genre that I’ve never written before (science-fiction space opera) I decided that I really needed to know WHERE it was that my plot was going because otherwise how was I to know whether or not I would even have enough to write  a full 50k?

So the plotting began… I broke my story down into ten parts and began to fill it out. I knew the beginning of my story quite well after all it was the thunderbolt that hit me while I was driving home from tutoring a student sometime last year. It was the middle that I was foggy with. I had no idea on what the motivation for my characters would be, or how this single idea would fit into a whole new world. But by forcing myself to think of things, I was able to fill out nine of the ten parts. The one part that I haven’t filled out is the ending because quite frankly I’m not sure who is going to live and who is going to die and whom is going to end up with whom with this story. I will cross to that bridge when I get to it.

And while I know that it is entirely possible that an idea will strike me at the eleventh hour, I can rest easy for the next seven (O_O) days knowing that I do indeed have enough of a plot to see me to 50k and maybe even beyond if the parts take longer to tell then I think it will.

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