Monday, April 13, 2015

Plotstorming a Novel

by Elva Cobb Martin

Cheryl Wyatt shocked me in a blog some time ago when she said she tended to write a rough draft of a novel in a week. And I want to give her credit for some of her ideas I am going to share. She writes action-romance.

How does she do it? She does a lot of prep work she calls plotstorming before she starts writing the rough draft.This includes doing Character Charts first on the main characters. (For her it also includes cooking and freezing a week's worth of meals for her family during her Weeklong Rough Draft Writing Spree).

Then comes her Plotstorm List

The Cute Meet: How will the heroine/hero meet?
The Draw and the Push: What plot element will keep drawing the two together and what conflict will be prying them apart?

Hero and Heroine's Story Goals
Hero and Heroine's Motivation
Hero and Heroine's Conflict: External, Internal, Spiritual, Relational
Story Setting
Inciting Incident: The chaos, disaster, dilemma, or change that opens        the story and becomes Scene 1/opening hook.
Relationship Reticence - hero
Relationship Reticence - heroine

1st Major Disaster
2nd Major Disaster
3rd Major Disaster aka Black Moment

Important Ancillary character: important character, other than hero or heroine, who is most central/important to the plot.

Basic Premise: A one-sentence summary or paragraph blurb of the basic story idea.

Scene Index Skeleton: (Not a chapter chart). One-liner plot points describing what goes into each major scene. (Normally, she has three scenes per chapter and around 20 chapters, so that's 60 scenes).

The Resolution:

In a romance she always know the H/H will get together in the end. 

Once Cheryl has all the above decided, she's ready to write her first draft in a week. 

What about you? Can you use some of these ideas to jumpstart your next novel. I did to write my second novel and it does work.

Please leave a comment and get ready to plot storm your next novel.

Elva Cobb Martin