Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best of Seekerville from the Archives and Giveaway

Plotstorming-Preparing for a Writing Spree by Cheryl Wyatt

I tend to write a rough draft in under a week. I am an instinct writer. I think that comes from being an avid reader of the genre in which I write. For the most part, I am a panster. However, writing a book as fast as I do requires some pre-work. I call it plotstorming.

Everyone has different methods. I am always changing (and hopefully improving!) mine. This method won't work for everyone. But for my post today, I thought I'd share a list of things I HAVE TO KNOW before rushing off into my writing spree. It is a fill-in-the-blank list.

The ***KNOW MY CHARACTERS*** part is more complex. I always know more about my characters than my plot when I first start out. Getting to know my characters and doing my story research or research on the character's career are the two most time-consuming things I do when writing. On another day, I will share my character chart with you. But for now, just know that the ***KNOW MY CHARACTER*** is a fill-in-the-blank list all on its own that is way too long to list here. But in that chart, I'd know (about the hero and heroine) things like:

Character Career___________
One-word adjective_________
Physical Description___________
Flaw____________
Quirk___________
Age_____________
Height__________
Build___________
Hair style/color________
etc, etc, etc and a gazillion other things.
This character chart is literally PAGES long.

Also, the prepwork/plotstorm involves making things easy on my family prior to my writing spree. Which means cooking a week's worth of meals and freezing them to make life easy for my family during my Weeklong Rough Draft Writing Spree. I clean my house top to bottom (because I can't concentrate well with clutter around me...sorry...it's the OCD in me. LOL!) And I plan exclusive activities with members of my family days prior to and following my spree so they don't feel neglected and are able to show more grace during the week I am unavailable. I sometimes leave my house to write, but sometimes I retreat to my room or office or otherwise quiet place. I also make sure they have an emergency number for me. I also try to clear out all my in boxes and take care of any commitments so I don't have to stop and take care of another project. Once I start writing, it's best to just blow through it, otherwise I tend to write scenes out of order which is a nightmare later.

For this blog post, I'm sharing my list of things OTHER than character specs.

I write action-romance but I imagine you could adapt this list to any genre/sub-genre.

I hope you can take something of value from it:

Cheryl's Plotstorm List

The Meet Cute: How will heroine/hero meet?
The Draw and Push: (What plot element will keep shoving them together? What story element or secondary character will keep them in contact throughout the book? Also, what (conflict and conflicting goals) will continually be prying them apart.)

Hero and Heroine's Story Goals
Hero and Heroine's Motivation
Hero and Heroine's Conflict: External, Internal, Spiritual, Relational

Hero and Heroine's careers

Story setting (I always know where the story takes place but not necessarily the season of year)

Inciting Incident (the chaos, disaster, crux, dilemma, catastrophe or change that opens/starts/catalyzes the story. This ends up being scene 1/opening hook.)

Relationship Reticence-hero
Relationship Reticence-heroine


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


Important Ancillary I use main characters' interactions with one or two important secondary characters to help characterize and sympathize them to readers. "Important Ancillary" is the character (other than hero and heroine) who is most central/important to the plot.

Basic Premise: (a one-sentence summary or few paragraph blurb of the basic story idea.)

Scene Index Skeleton: (not a chapter chart. These are one-liner plot points describing what goes into each scene. This is never exhaustive when I start out and my conflict and tension always gains momentum as I write)

The Resolution: (In a romance, I always know the hero and heroine will get together in the end. I like to know before starting out which one of them is most resistant to the relationship and why. I also like to know the what, where, when and why of the resistant one to giving in and realizing they can't live without the other person.)

Most of my story time lines span about a 6 month time. Since I know that, I don't have that on the chart. But if your story time lines vary, you may find it useful to add. So I'll put a lean Plotstorm list below.

-----

Cheryl's Short Plotstorm List:

***KNOW MY CHARACTERS***
The Meet Cute
The Draw and Push or Keep Cute
Hero and Heroine's Story Goals
Hero and Heroine's Motivation
Hero and Heroine's Conflict: External, Internal, Spiritual, Relational
Hero and Heroine's careers
Story setting
Inciting Incident
Relationship Reticence-hero
Relationship Reticence-heroine

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

Important Ancillary
Basic Premise
Scene Index Skeleton
The Resolution
Story Timeline
-----

If I've left something out, I'm sure it will come to me. Also, I wanted to mention on the Scene Index, I don't write down EVERY scene in the book. Just major milestone ones, such as the first kiss scene, and the scene that establishes attraction, disasters, etc. I will also give a Scene Index Example on another post another day.

I know the list probably doesn't seem like a lot. But as I said, I start out pretty minimal because I'm more of an instinct writer, which means I don't set out to plan themes, intricate structure and all that but somehow, in the end my books have that stuff in there.

For this reason I HIGHLY recommend that you avidly read current releases from any house, line and genre you are targeting.

Hope you find something useful. If you don't understand any of the elements (after all, I tend to use my own terminology...LOLOLOL!) please feel free to ask.

What kind of prep work, if any, do you do when you write?


Here's a practical example from Ready-Made Family, my third book, which released from Steeple Hill in April, 2009. If you want to see the finished product, the book is available on Christianbook.com here.

I will also use this book to example the Scene Index and Character Charts I mentioned before in two of my future Seeker posts.


---***KNOW MY CHARACTERS***

---The Meet Cute: H/h meet in a parking lot when heroine's daughter approaches Ben to say her mommy needs help. (Heroine is incapacitated from an electrolyte imbalance.)

---The Draw and Push or Keep Cute: Heroine, passing through town with her daughter, gets stranded in the town of Refuge. She passed out leaving a pharmacy lot and her car crashed into a light pole. Heroine isn't released from hospital until her health is restored. Garage has to order car parts and then heroine loses the job she's headed to. Hero suggests she stay in Refuge to find a job, claiming Refuge lives up to its name. She stays, but is resistant to him because she's not sure about his motives. Hero promises to help her find a job and provides rides to interviews, etc.

Hero and Heroine's Story Goals: Heroine needs to find a job before summer's end. Hero's goal is two-fold. He needs to prepare his Mosaic Down Syndrome brother to come live with him for a year and he also wants to help the down-on-her-luck heroine.

---Hero and Heroine's Motivation: Single mom heroine needs to provide for her daughter because her parents have her nearly convinced she can't. She fears men's motives because her daughter's father abandoned her after coercing her to sleep with him in high school, which led to her pregnancy. The church where she's from shunned her and so now she shuns church. Hero's motivation is that he is ashamed of the fact that he was ashamed of his brother growing up. Now he wants to rebuild his brother's trust so Hutton can come live with him while their parents go on a year-long world travel they've always dreamed of. Ben's Asian descent gives him a strong sense of honoring his elders. He wants to help heroine out of a sense of compassion and obedience, feeling like she was put in his path for a reason.

---Hero and Heroine's Conflict: External, Internal, Spiritual, Relational: Hero's external conflict is he continually gets called away on a mission or problems with Hutton. And the heroine's housing plans fall through. So his two goals of helping his bro and heroine clash against one another. Also he's trying to find his brother ajob. Heroine is looking for a job in same town so H/h goals clash. Heroine internal conflict is she doesn't believe people help one another without agenda. She doesn't trust Ben is helping her for no reason so she's reticent, yet needs his help. Relational conflict: Heroine was duped by her daughter's father and her father is critical of her, leading her to constantly question Ben's integrity. Spiritual conflict: Heroine thinks that since her old church shunned her for her mistake, then God must feel the same way. Hero is a new Christian but strong in his faith and determines to show her the truth about how God sees her.

---Hero and Heroine's careers: Heroine has high school diploma only. Forwent college because her funds went toward hospital bills for a preterm pregnancy. Being a single mom, she couldn't afford college but taught herself secretarial skills she hopes to utilize. Hero is a US Air Force Pararescue Jumper and church worship leader

---Story setting: Fictional Refuge in Southern Illinois

---Inciting Incident: Heroine passes out while driving in a parking lot. Her daughter runs for help, approaches Ben in the same parking lot. He rushes over to help.

---Relationship Reticence-hero: he needs to focus on re gaining his brother's trust rather than on romancing a girl.
Relationship Reticence-heroine: Heroine is most resistant to this relationship and relationships in general. She was deceived majorly by a guy with ill motives. Trust issues from that.

---1st Major Disaster: (after inciting incident) Hero contacts heroine's parents thinking to help. But they aren't getting along w the heroine at present. He had also let DCFS know there was an unattended child w incapacitated driver. This put heroine's plans and reputation in jeopardy. Heroine loses job and housing opportunity that she was headed to in Missouri. Stranded in Illinois now.

---2nd Major Disaster: Hero discovers heroine's dad is prejudiced against Asians and interracial/cross-cultural relationships. Heroine wants her relationship w her dad restored but now realizes she might have to choose between a relationship with Ben and one with her father. There is also a job clash. Heroine gives up her job to Ben's brother, putting her in a potential position to have to move out of Refuge to find a job.

---3rd & 4th Major Disaster aka Black Moment: hurricane hits heroine's parents home. Hero goes to help and gives his word to help. As Ben is on the roof helping while heroine's dad is yelling obscenities at him, Ben gets word from his team mates that his father has passed away. He needs to be with his mother and brother but vowed to finish the roof to earn heroine's dad's respect and complete this act of kindness even in the face of ugly prejudice.

---Important Ancillary: Hutton, Ben's Down Syndrome brother, and Reece, heroine's daughter.

---Basic Premise: Romance. Cross-cultural/interracial. Hero determines to help a struggling single mother and ends up falling for her. But she has major trust issues and needs to know she can take care of her daughter on her own.

---Scene Index Skeleton: no room for this here. Will share it another post. But is a series of one-sentence summaries per scene. I normally have three scenes per chapter and normally around 20 chapters, so around 60 scenes total.

---The Resolution: Heroine chooses hero over her father. Heroine's mother chooses her daughter over her husband, who is being mule-headed. Through Hutton's words and Ben's acts of kindness and fear of losing his family, heroine's father comes to realize his prejudice is ugly and makes amends.

---Story Timeline: six month period

(For blog post-length sake, I left off some of the detail, but this will at least give you a gist of what kinds of things I write into the Plotstorm.)



This post appeared in Seekerville on December 16, 2008

The other posts in this series include:




Scene Index Example Ready-Made Family



Today, as part of our 3rd Seekerville Birthday Party, we are giving away 4 prizes: a one chapter Seeker critique & an Unpubbed Island Necklace, and Book In A Month: the fool-proof system for writing a novel in 30 days by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D and a Seeker surprise book.

Just let us know you want your name in the drawing. Winners announced in tomorrow's Weekend Edition.


Did anyone notice that this post is just perfect for the upcoming NANOWRIMO??

57 comments :

  1. Great plotstorming list. I'll have to save these points in a file. Thanks to Cheryl for writing them down and sharing.

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  2. The coffee pot's on. (Never heard of a Kuerig until yesterday.)

    Cheryl, I printed this when it appeared almost a year ago. It's still good stuff.

    Helen

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  3. Cheryl,

    Excellent info!
    Thanks so much for sharing it! May at maythek9spy dot com

    I'll take either the critique or necklace if I'm the lucky winner. Too many craft books in my TBR list right now!

    Great weekend!

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  4. I "snowflake.":) In fact I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo (and right now should be finishing my snowflake instead of being on the internet) but I'll be racing my baby more than the NaNoWriMo calendar since the baby is due on Nov. 30th!

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  5. Plotstorm list is fabulous...I can't wait to put it to use.

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  6. Wow. This post showed so many reasons why I loved Ready Made family!

    Just enter me in the kindle drawing.

    Hard to believe the month is almost over. Happy Birthday Seekerville and may the coming year be bright for all of you! Thanks for loads of fun this past month.

    Peace, Julie

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  7. It'd be really cool if y'all could put all of these AWESOME lessons with examples into a pdf.

    Tina, you've taken a lot in the plotstorming and broken it down into understandable lingo.

    Thank you!

    reneelynnscott [at] gmail [dot] com

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  8. Last day to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SEEKERVILLE!
    It's been a wonderful month being blessed by so many talented authors! God bless each and every one of you!

    I am just a reader and would only be interested in the necklace if I won:)

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  9. Wow, Cheryl, what a detailed list for the characters. I have a much shorter list, but if I had known all these things to figure out when I was writing my senior thesis project, I may not have ended up with 70 pages of a severely disjointed story.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

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  10. Okay, Cheryl, you had me at "I always know more about my characters than my plot when I first start out." I've learned from all the posts here at Seekerville, but for some reason, this one really hit a switch in my brain. I LOVE the Plotstorm List. I copied this into my notes as soon as I finished the post!

    And, BTW, it was a blessing to read all the things you do to help your family be happy and successful while you're focused on your writing. What a blessing you are to them!

    I regret that I'm not familiar with all the Seeker author's books, but adding them to my wish list gives me a lot to look forward to! This has been a great month, and I know I'll keep visiting when the contest is over! Thanks so much and blessings to all involved!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  11. Hi Cheryl,

    This post is just as great as it was the first time around. I'm so impressed with writing a rough draft in a week. Some day I hope to try your method.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

    Can you believe the birthday celebration is almost over? The month flew by.

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  12. Great stuff - got it saved on my hard drive from the last time - but THANKS for a reminder.

    PLEASE enter me in the drawing. joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

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  13. Good Morning Seekerville.

    I'm not a huge fan of flavored beans BUT I have French Toast brew on.

    It's perfect.

    The sky over Denver is red.

    Red sky at morning..sailor take warning..

    Have an excellent writing day.

    I am off to the post office to mail a slew of Birthday presents to friends of Seekerville.

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  14. No, I only put up the post. Cheryl is the QUEEN DE LA PLOT STORMER!!!

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  15. Yes, I noticed that this is perfect for NANOWRIMO? However, I don't know if I'm ready for NANOWRIMO. (Yes, I can hear Ruthy saying "Write baby write.")

    I'm up for all prizes. (Well, maybe not the necklace.)

    Happy birthday Seekerville. (Can't believe October's birthday celebration is coming to a close.) Writing is a joy. Thank you for salving much of the pain that goes with it. So many of these posts are printable and save-worthy. This is another one.

    Walt (who is celebrating watching his teenage son have the best baseball night last night, but is now nervous as both of his sons have playoff games today (baseball and football) and each one's team is playing against the tournament's top seed. It's win or go home today.)

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  16. Cheryl - great post - very helpful.

    I'd like the Book in a Month.

    edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  17. I can't wait to dig into this later today or tomorrow - no time right now. I will bring leftover birthday cake when I come back though - and everyone knows birthday cake has no calories!

    Have got to get NaNo plotting done but may have to do that on Monday since this weekend is NUTS.

    I'm in for giveaways :).

    carol at carolmoncado dot come

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  18. Please include me in the drawing.

    Lots of great information here. Wow! I think it will take a while to digest.

    Blessings and Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  19. morning everyone!
    wow Helen I don't drink coffee and I know what Keurig is! (ok that's mainly thanks to the guys at work drooling over one for so long and finally getting one that now takes up a huge chunk of space but hey they're happy and caffeinated and in better moods!)

    Here's some biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and orange juice(hey I can pretend I can cook this stuff right?!)

    Susanna
    quilt938 at clear dot net

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  20. Another great post to print-off for my very thick Seekerville file! Thanks for the plotstorming list.

    It's been a fantastic birthday month!

    Please enter me for today's drawing.

    --Kirsten
    kanavyhist[at]aol[dot]com

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  21. Yippee. This is perfect for the Nanowrimo. I am starting a new wip so am printing this off. Again.

    Gret going Cheryl and thanks Tina for reposting this.

    Walt, you're forgiven for not writing today. Playoffs. woo hoo. Have fun with those boys. They grow up so fast.

    Happy writing everyone else.

    Sandra who is enjoying that yummy coffee Tina.

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  22. Well I got closer to the top this time, lololol. This was a great post,glad you unearthed it from the archives to share with us!

    And I can't believe that your party is over in just one more day! It has been a great month, you ladies sure know how to throw a party. :) Thanks for sharing the fun.

    I would love to be entered, thank you!

    Caseymh18(@)gmail.com

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  23. Thanks for the plotstorming list.

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  24. We just had a hot air balloon land in our field! Wow, no kidding! End of October and they're still flying around. Like Tina said, the sky was GORGEOUS this morning, so I can't blame them for wanting to tour around the countryside.

    The landing drove our dogs nuts. Got the sheep baa-ing. Chickens all in a tither.

    Better than Saturday morning cartoons, LOL!

    AND I just happen to have a hot air balloon event in my current WIP. What inspiration.

    Helen, it seems like the Kuerig has become the staple of the Seeker world. Nice thing, too. We can all have our own flavors!

    Thanks for the plot storming tips, Cheryl. They are always welcome!!

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  25. What an awesome post. It is packed with really great information and tips. Thank you so much!

    I would love to be entered into your giveaway for all but the critique (I'm not there yet).

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  26. Awesome post. This will definitely come in handy with Nano coming up.

    ~Nicole
    Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com

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  27. Very helpful post, Cheryl. I remember reading it before, but now I'll print it out to use soon. Thank you for sharing your method. Happy Birthday to Seekers and a great weekend to all. It's been so much fun. If my name's chosen would like the Book in a Month prize. Thank you.
    patjeannedavis[at]verizon[dot]net

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  28. Wow big day for you Daddy Walt!!!


    Susanna you can put tea pods and hot cocoa in the Keurig. Today I saw Chai Latte pods at BB&B.

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  29. Renee btw we are getting ready to launch the Seekerville resource room with just that sort of thought.

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  30. Cheryl, great post! You sure do a rough draft quickly. I'm not a writer, but I know what you mean about having clutter around you. I like to have my housework done before I go out and have fun. It keeps my mind clear of things I have to do back home.

    Since I'm not a writer I won't be entered for the Seeker Critique but I will enter for the other two things.

    Also since my birthday is this month, that Kindle would make a great birthday present to myself!

    Thanks for the information on your writing habits. I do have an interest in writing and your information was very helpful. By the way, I've read Ready-Made Family and loved it! Keep up the good work!

    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  31. Tina, that is awesome!!!!! I can't wait.

    Cheryl, I love this plotstorming. I think it will work great for what I'm working on.

    reneelynnscott [at] gmail [dot] com

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  32. Hey all! Sorry for not stopping in sooner
    I've been on planes and will be all day. Will drop by as often as I can between flights. I visited Camy and her brave husband Captain Caffeine drove me to the airport before the buttcrack of dawn this morning.
    LOL. Soooo I'm curious, who all is doing NANO?

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  33. Hi Audra:

    Wow!

    When a balloon lands on your property they are supposed to give you a bottle of Champagne! Some balloonists even have commemoration certificates to award the landowner. This is for goodwill. Have you heard of this (you might want this in your book) and what was your experience?

    Have you been up in a balloon? Do you know it is very quite up there and you can hear every dog barking in the city below? It is amazing!

    Vince

    P.S. A balloon on the cover should increase the point-of-purchase sales by quite a bit!

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  34. Thank you Cheryl for the great information on plotstorming.
    Please enter me in the draw!
    Jan

    janet_kerr@msn.com

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  35. Hi Cheryl:

    Yes, this is the perfect post for NaNo. I have just two days before NaNo starts and I haven’t settled on a story idea yet. I am going to have to come up with an idea and learn how to use my AlphaSmart -- while on an extended road trip (SF). I’ve never tried to write in a moving car. But it looks like the Seekers have no problem doing this at all.

    I am just going to do your “Plotstorm List” exactly, by the numbers, and see what happens. (BTW: a lot of people would call 'plotstorming' plotting. Is there an equivalent: 'pantstorming' or are they always storming? :) )

    A question or two: Would you now include a “Moral Premise” in your list if you were to revise it today? And, if so, where would you place it on your ‘short list’? Thanks,

    Vince

    I have the book already so I’d like on chance on the critique.

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

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  36. Who is doing NANO

    Taking a deep, bracing breath...I am (she's says in a very small voice, hoping that no one heard). This blog post is very opportune for that very reason. I'm storming tomorrow and starting on Monday! Ack!

    Thanks for this wonderful birthday month, seekers...I think I've about worn out my party shoes with all the celebrating!

    I would love to be entered in for the critique. rowanwood AT rogers DOT com

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  37. Add me to the drawing, please. :D

    lr. mullin at live. com

    Wow! I'm worn out just from reading that post. I'd be so tired from plotting that I'd never get to the story, but I can see how it would work for many writers.

    I'm a percolator. I think the characters and plot through, playing with different ideas. Once I get hooked on something, I'll start making notes on facts I don't want to forget and then start writing - often writing and taking notes simultaneously.

    When I get writer's block, I'll either read one or three books and/or percolate about where to go with the next scene, thinking out different "what ifs." Sometimes, I just have to start writing. I might end up throwing most of it away, but at least it helps me work through and figure out the direction I need to go with the next scene.

    Thanks for sharing your techinque! Very insightful and I'm sure there's something we can all get from it.

    ~Linnette

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  38. What an awesome post. Thanks Cheryl for sharing.

    Actually, thanks to all the Seekers. I've been reading the posts and they are truly helpful.

    Would love to be put into today's drawing for the critique or necklace.

    abbi[dot]cantrell[at]gmail[dot]com

    Abbi :-)

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  39. Wonderful information, Cheryl, and since I'm a newbie, I intend to print it and notebook it for frequent use. This is a great giveaway and I'd like to be entered for the Kindle, or any of the prizes. Thanks for sharing your plotstorming procedure and for the chance to win in this contest. I hope I do!!

    Blessings,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  40. I just love this post! I'm so glad you shared it again! It'll help me with forming my checklist for editing/revising.

    Hope everyone has a glorious Saturday! It's amazing weather here in Georgia.

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  41. Who ever heard of a birthday party where the GUESTS, not the birthday-girl gets the best gifts? You Seekers are incredibly generous. The encouragement and willingness to share are distinctives that Christian writers groups excel in, and I am grateful for that.

    I didn't see Cheryl's list previously, but love it. I write in a similar manner and am grateful someone more organized than I put the need-to-know list together.

    Kudos to you, Cheryl, for how you honor your family within the writing process. Thanks for sharing that. I'm certain others struggle with that. I know I do.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Seekerville Seekers! Thank you for all your work and kind sharing with us. May you have many, many more. Look forward to the drawing results! We will all be better writers as a result; I'm sure.

    Blessings,
    Mary Kay
    Mary [at] MaryKayMoody [dot] com

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  42. Cheryl,

    Thanks for running this again! I had forgotten about I had saved it already.

    Last night I was trying the Snowflake method, but I gave up after about point three. Your method sounds much for do-able!

    Any of these great prizes would be welcome. Can't believe how fast this month went!! It seems we were just gearing up for the big birthday!

    Have a great weekend. It's going to be pretty cold here for Halloween - we talking coats and gloves!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  43. I really like the plotstorm, and I'm gonna go back and print it out. Another really helpful post was Glynna's. I loved her newsprint pads.

    I'd love to win the craft book or the necklace.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    Walt~ hope your boys do well. I'm married to coach, so I can sympathize with you.

    NaNoWriMo scares me. I'm certain my house would be a disaster area worthy of FEMA relief money if I tried it.

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  44. Thanks for the great info. This is a definite must print.

    And Wow Cheryl - a rough draft in a week. How long do you spend editing afterward? How long does it take you to write one of your books from start to submission?

    And Tina I love the idea of a resource room!

    Can't believe October ends tomorrow!
    Everyone will be here checking in at 12:01am :)


    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  45. Audra I don't think my german shepherd could stand a hot air balloon landing near her! The lab would probably just look at it and go back to sniffing the grass and bushes though. The poor shepherd still looks at the attic door supsiciously ever since she saw the exterminator coming down..I dont' think she realized there was an opening there until then! Poor thing..she tries so har to know every door/window/person in the house at all times and was taken by surprise.

    man I'm tired..working..blech!

    Susanna

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  46. Popping in between flights to grab some cyber coffee and say hey to all of you.
    Eva, I spend about a month on layering and edits. Then on the front end I research for anywhere from a solid week to a month. So all in all it takes me a couple of months but that's my method. Some people need longer and that's perfectly okay. If I break momentum, the story ends up incoherent and not cohesive and episodic. If I just blow through it I end up with far less to fix.

    Okay all, gotta board another flight so I will check back in later.

    Good luck to all the entrants!
    Cheryl

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  47. This is great! I got excited for the first time in a couple weeks to get something down on paper (screen). I can't wait to give it a try. This will be my first NaNoWriMo, so I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing (again).

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  48. Yes, I noticed when I read it! I'd like to be in the drawing. Thank you for a great post!

    Mary M

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  49. Wow, this post is jam-packed with so many good tools and tips! I'm speechless, except to say thanks for bringing this back out of the archives for us. :)

    I'd love to be entered into the draw for the critique and the book.

    And I can't wait to see who wins the Kindle! :)

    Dana/Widsith
    childofprussia(at)gmail(dot)com

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  50. You give some great tips for writing!
    I would love to have my name entered in for the Kindle. Please and thank you!

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  51. CHERYL!!! Sorry I'm late getting here, but boy, was it worth the wait, girl -- LOVE this post and it's easy to see why it's one of the "Best of Seekerville"!!

    In fact, I'm going to printing this one off as I dive in to my next book, so thank you!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  52. I'm actually a bit relieved the party is almost over.


    I've got frosting on all my clothing and the island needs a good power vacuuming. It's sort of scary the places I have been finding confetti-palm trees, under rocks..in Pam's hut.

    One more day to celebrate and then we go back into our caves for NANOWRIMO!!

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  53. Love the plotstorming lists! This birthday month with you guys has been great. I've really enjoyed being pulled over with incentives only to find so much great, practical information. I've subscribed to your feed, so the fun will continue for me.

    Thanks, Seekerville ladies!
    Please enter me:
    dlkaufman(AT)bellsouth(DOT)net

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  54. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 30, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Thank you Cheryl for sharing with us. Thank you for sharing your plot storming list. It might really help me. Since I don't have anything to critique don't but me down for that prize but the other two would be great! Thanks again Cheryl

    fantum2004 AT sbcglobal DOT net

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  55. Thanks for explaining your method Cheryl.

    I can see from one book to the next how my method changes and wonder what method will stick. Maybe one day I will get to try your method. Time will tell :)

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  56. This is a great exercise for those getting ready to do NaNo tomorrow! thanks for posting it!

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Margay

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  57. I'm glad for Cheryl's "Know my Characters." Can't wait to use the information. Please enter me in the drawing.
    Rachel K.
    rkulp000@centurytel.net

    ReplyDelete