Monday, 7 November 2011

Should've stayed on board...

Just got revisions back for Always The Best Man (whether it keeps that title or not remains to be seen!).  It seems that my ending feels a little rushed.  I had suspected as much myself, and when I got my trusty plotboard out, I could see why!

This is the current incarnation of my plotboard. 
There are four rows:
  • act 1
  • first part of act 2
  • second part of act 2
  • act 3

Compared to the beginning of the story, the last act is a little sparse!  And if I'd paid attention to my board instead of ignoring that while I wrote the final chapter or two, I might have worked that out for myself.

I find having visual map of my book exremely helpful in both the writing and revising stages.  In the first draft I can scribble my ideas on post-its and index cards (or bits of envelopes etc.) and often there is an obvious place to pin those ideas when I look at my board.  In the revising stage, I can start to jiggle cards around and see what's working and what isn't.

Anyway, can't stay round here blogging all evening.  I've got a book to revise!  Back to the board for me...


Lacey Devlin said...

I'd like a bigger picture so I can read it ;-)

I love this! How long does it take you to put a board together, Fiona?

Leah Ashton said...

Wow, that is so cool! I'm actually doing the same plotting course as Lacey at the moment, so we're probably equally in awe :)

I can see you've got little tags with TP1 (Turning Point 1?) etc - can you let us know what they all are? Is there a plotting technique that you follow?

(Can you tell I'm desperately searching for a way to write a 50K word book without actually writing 100K before I finally work it all out? :) )

Fiona Harper said...

My plotboard is an ever-evolving process! I don't think I use it exactly the same way twice - although I have settled into a pattern with it now. I was thinking about blogging about it in a series of posts soon - but I need to get these revisions out of the way first!

Fiona Harper said...

My plotting obsession has just resulted in an online order for a ridiculous amount of coloured post-it notes. I think I need help.

Lacey Devlin said...

Can one ever have too many post-its??

I know I'd be very grateful for a blog series on your plotboarding (sounds like a dangerous sport, don't you think?).

Happy revising!

Lacey Devlin said...

Leah - I do the 100K thing too. It's very frustrating. I swear I'm more efficient in other area of my life! lol

Julia Broadbooks said...

I love this! I did have a plotboard for my last ms, but I like the way yours is laid out better. I should dust it off and give it another try as I'm preparing my submission for SYTYCW.

Leah Ashton said...

Oh Fiona, I would be eternally grateful if you do a blog series on your plot board! Pretty please? (when your revisions are in, of course ;) )

Fiona Harper said...

Will blog when I've finished my revs!

I've laid my board out in soooo many different ways over the years, but this layout (thanks to Blake Snyder of Save the Cat fame) is the best so far.

Good luck with STTYCW, Julia!