Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wrenching My Plot Down Tight

On the pretty photo front: there was a cool, green moth hanging onto the frame of my back door. Googling has led me to believe it's a Actias luna. I googled "big, green moth" in case you're curious.

pretty green moth

On the writing front: received some critiques, paused in writing to tighten plot of my MG fantasy, reworked Dragon Lure query (again), and then wrote some more.

big green moth

I'm still brewing over the critiques and exactly how to address them, so let's save that for another week. This week's topic: my plot tightening.

There is so very much that's been said about writing a tightly structured plot, but I had fun reading Chuck Wendig's recent post on the topic (and his general, critiquey tips).
Note: He uses Not Safe For Work language.

He just happened to put the plot structure part of his post into a handy, dandy tweet:


Obviously, the middle part of the story is where things go wrong and then wronger. Then they keep going wrong until the climax when things go the wrongest of all.

fuzzy green moth

I must have a simple mind because while I've read nuanced analyses of plot structure and have tried to use these awesome spreadsheets that author Jami Gold created from the books of some highly acclaimed plot masters, I just cannot seem to use them effectively. But I loved following Chuck's structure.

Maybe I just needed a little humor in my plotting process.

Actias luna moth

In case you were curious, I did plot this book out before I started to write it (or, rather, since it's a reimagining of an old project, "re-write"), but as I went along I realized the pacing was just too slow. So I started cutting, and then I got to the point where I needed to revisit my plot structure and make sure it all still holds together.

So for us non-masters of the tight, tense plot structure, a book can be plotted about five different times. Altogether too easily.

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