Thursday, 24 May 2007

More about the journey

I've been thinking about my plot board in the last few days and wondering why I feel the obsessive need to mess around with cards and pins and a cork board. I do have a stationary fixation –I always had to have my felt tips in rainbow-coloured order at school – but it's more than that.

At the beginning of a book, when the ideas are flying round and I have no idea of which ones are going to work and which ones are going to get axed, I find it very handy to pin these "flying" thoughts down before they flutter off into the atmosphere, never to be seen again.

However, once I have passed the halfway point in the book, I hardly ever look at my plot board again. Maybe by then the choices have been narrowed down and that helps me keep the picture of where the book is going in my head. I also think that maybe my plot boarding is more to do but the process than the finished result.

Somehow, the journey of pinning those little cards on the board and organising my thoughts galvanises me to write and helps me make sense of the scraps of ideas that come to me in the middle of the night, while I'm walking to work and especially in the bath. Where do you get your best ideas?

4 comments:

India said...

This makes me feel much better fiona, because I have a confession to make...

Not only is my plot board shamefully messy, it also kind of fizzles out somewhere around chapter 7. I thought this was because I was a hopeless novice in the plot board game, but I think that actually you're right-- by the time you get to that stage its work is done.

I get my best ideas on the school run. The picking up at 3pm one. The one that comes right after you've spent the day wrestling for every sentence and sweating blood over every word. As if by magic, I get in the car to start the noisiest, most hectic time of the day and am suddenly awash with insight and inspiration. I think that's probably what's called Sod's Law.

liz fenwick said...

When I'm walking or driving.....

liz fenwick said...

You've been tagged!

Sarah L. Catherine said...

Hi Fiona! I think I remember your sale story on eHQ last year -- congratulations, again!
Have a great time over here in America at RWA -- this is my first time going to Nationals, too, very exciting!

I'm glad to hear you say this about your plotting -- I usually get a *flood* of ideas at the beginning and write them all down in a loose outline and extra word files that get cut and pasted into my ms... but then by halfway, the flood stops. That's normal, whew. :)