Sunday, 30 October 2011

Chapter plans and floors of books

I am fed up with starting my blogs posts by declaring how many chapters I've written this week, so this time I'm not going to.  I'm taking a stand.  So there!  That's shown my own brain who's boss.

I pondered in my last blog post the merits of writing a chapter-by-chapter plan for the rest of Hide and See.  This week, I did it, plotting out chapters 32-51 in a lovely neat little table.  My previous plan - just a handwritten flowchart jobby which didn't have any sense of length/word count etc - fitted in surprisingly well.  I was worried I'd have to cut out various chunks in order to get to the point I needed to reach by the end but (so far!) this hasn't been necessary.

Now I guess I have to see how it all comes out when I actually write it.  I've done these table-plan-thingies before and have had to alter them mid-story as plots change or my inability-to-shut-up kicks in again.  There's lots I need to fit in with the background mythology (how much do I include?) and characterisation (oh how I loathe thee) but I guess it's all a question of balance.

With my vague ideas of a sequel (or is that a whole trilogy my mind is whispering about?) colouring my thinking, I know that there is plenty of opportunity to say less.  With the mythology, for instance.  My characters - from a plot point of view - can't know everything in the first book, or else what more would there be to discover?  And yet I can't leave my (imaginary) readers thinking 'what the bloomin' heck was all that about?' (Because, yes, my imaginary readers are all clones of Dick Van Dyke).

I sometimes wish I had spare wall-space so that I could hang a pinboard, to plot out my story in a well-organised and coherent manner.  Then I realise that could never happen for the same reason as it hasn't happened: every spare patch of wall is, and probably always will be, covered with bookshelves.

I bought a new book today and I didn't even leave the house.  Oh Amazon, why are you so easy to use, even for a dinosaur like me?  And where shall Shiny New Book go?  Probably on one of the growing floor-piles now that there is no room on the shelves.  Who needs to see the carpet anyway?

1 comment:

  1. I've struggled with plotting throughout writing my book, like you I can make a plan, but then if I come up with something better the whole plan has to change! I'm glad it's progressing well though. I've finished a reasonable draft of my book and am at the rewrite/editing stage. I'm hoping to get it out to agents next year, by which time I will hopefully have started a book in the same universe but with different characters. I'd love to see where your seer has got to!