Spotlight on Writing

Each novel we’ve done has its own special folder on my computer. Inside that, there’s a mixture of research articles. Pictures that have been pulled off the internet. Some of the folders have subfolders, with the headings of ‘OLD’ and ‘NEW’ corresponding to each rewrite. But all of them all have one document titled: Chapter Plans.

Yes, I know Ashley talked about this last week in her post. This week, it’s my turn. She’s emailed me the overall outline, and now I get to expand the bullet points, and work out (roughly) how our characters get from plot point A to plot point B.

It’s a demanding task, because it forces you to consider not only what makes sense, and to come up with logical reasons to authentically drive the plot forward, but you also have to find the most surprising way of linking the events together, in order to make the plot and the character’s movements compelling to the reader.

Plot Perfect: Chess is a great way to exercise your problem solving skills. And, apparently, so is planning a book.

This is what makes a good story so difficult to craft: to make it surprising yet believable, an inevitable cascade of events that the reader can’t see coming. To do this, I stretch my mind and try to think of all the possible scenarios, a web that eventually leads to each desired plot point. I become a strategist, moving the pieces on the board time and time again. Always asking the question, what if?

Personal Update

Ah dear. How mundane my personal updates have become. Have you ever felt like your life is on pause? That’s how mine feels right now. This is why I have thrown myself so completely into writing. I relish the writing, because it throws me out of my world and into another, which I have never needed so much.

I won’t bore you with my complaints about the dreary life of a jobless immigrant. I know, I need to get outside. I should get outside. It’s probably only a month or so before the snow starts again, so I should make the most of this beautiful autumn weather.

In fact, because I’m terrible at forcing myself out into the world, I will put a hand up right now and swear to you that I, Sarah Anderson, will become a park-goer, and come back next time with many pretty autumn photos.