This cartoon has nothing to do with this post, but hey, it's funny. My local newspaper started featuring the comic, Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis a few months ago. Hubby loves them and I've got to admit, the offbeat sense of humor is pretty darn addictive.
The Plotting Roadmap
Before I drifted off to sleep last night, I was writing in my journal about my plotting process. I thought that perhaps with this first novel of my Italian Duet, I should plot out as much as I could. But then I thought, no way can I plot out every scene. I know some authors do this, but if I did it, I would, well, be bored when I started writing because I would already know everything I was going to write.
But, I realized that I still need a roadmap. So this is my probably overused analogy, but I like it all the same.
When you plan a long trip, you usually have some major stopping points along the way - gas, food, and maybe a hotel or two. You don't necessarily plan every single stop you're going to take. What if you suddenly blow out a tire? Or drank too much Diet Pepsi and need a rest stop ASAP? Then there's construction. Hunger pains. Whiny kids begging to get out and stretch their legs.
That's how I plot. I know my destination and how to get there, but there may be a few detours along the way in between those main stopping points. Those stopping points include the beginning, middle, and end, of course, but also some other key "rest areas." The inciting incident, the black moment, and the climax are just a few.
Let's talk about plot. When you start to plot a story, do you plot all those areas in between your major "rest areas", or do you know your starting and ending points and make up everything in between when you're writing?