Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The 7C’s Method Of Plotting

Winnie Griggs

Hi! Winnie Griggs here. I’m so excited to be back here at Seekerville – this is such a fun group.
In honor of this being SPEEDBO month here, I thought I’d focus this post on plotting
When it comes to plotting, writers fall somewhere on a continuum from the uber-planner who plots everything down to the nth degree, to the writer who takes a hint of an idea and dives right in, trusting that the plot will come to her as she goes along.
I personally fall somewhere in the middle.  I usually know who my characters are and what drives them.  I also know how they’ll change by the end of the story, and I also know some of the bigger turning points that happen along the way.  The rest of it I figure out as I go along. 
Over time, I’ve come up with a plotting process that helps me create a road map of sorts and today I’ll share that with you.  But first, let’s discuss what a plot is and isn’t.   Plot is not story.  Story is the end product, the combination of theme, premise, character, action and emotion, presented in an engaging manner to produce a cohesive whole. 
Plot is one part of what goes into crafting a story.  It’s the ‘what happens’, the sequence of events that occur as the characters attempt to achieve their goals and solve problems.  And to be effective, this sequence of events must be structured such that, no matter how the situation or characters change by the end, the plot has led us there in a smooth and inevitable manner.  Unlike real life where things happen randomly or with little impact on everyday life, in fiction, each event must have consequences that impact what happens next and lead inexorably to the story’s conclusion.
Cinderella
To illustrate this difference between plot and story, I’ll use a simple example - Cinderella.  At a high level we have these events:
  * A quick glimpse of Cinderella in her everyday world
  * A ball is announced and Cinderella decides that she wants to go
  * Her stepmother and step-sisters conspire to keep her from attending
  * Her fairy godmother appears and assists Cinderella in her dream to go to the ball, but she warns Cinderella that she must leave by midnight
  * Cinderella meets Prince Charming at the ball and the two fall in love
*   Cinderella almost overshoots her deadline and flees, losing her shoe in the process
 * Prince Charming finds the shoe and uses it to search for Cinderella
 * The stepmother locks Cinderella away, blocking the Prince’s attempts to find her
 * Cinderella escapes and she and Prince Charming achieve their happily ever after

As I said, high level, but these are the story events - the plot points if you will.  As you can see, it’s not the story.  It’s much too dry and lackluster to engage readers in any meaningful way.  The story itself is much richer and more lyrical, with layers and emotion that are missing here.
So, since plot is the ‘what happens’ in your story, it stands to reason that, to plot, one merely need come up with a list of events that lead us from the opening of our story to the conclusion.    Sounds easy, but I think you’ll agree that the tricky part comes in figuring out which particular chain of events are needed to make your story the page turner you want it to be.
After analyzing my own process (always a scary proposition!) I came up with what I call the 7Cs method.   These stand for:
1.      Character
2.      Circumstance
3.      Conflict
4.      Consequences
5.      Crisis
6.      Conclusion
7.      Change & Coherence

You can attack these in whatever order you like, but I usually start with Character and Circumstances. 
I explore my characters - their goals, values and especially their backstory - before I begin writing my story.  While character does not overtly play into your plot points, it does inform them.  Going back to Cinderella, our plot points don’t state what kind of history Cinderella has with her stepmother and stepsisters, or that she lost her father at a young age, or that she’s a dreamer.  But because I know this, I know what actions she is likely to take under specific circumstances.  
At this time, I also think about what my character’s initial circumstances are.  Once I really understand my character and their initial circumstances, the next ‘C’ I work on is the Conclusion.  This may sound counter-intuitive, but I need to know where I want my character to end up before I start planning how to get them there.  In the case of Cinderella, I want Cinderella to go from being unloved to finding true love. 
Once I have these three pieces - character, current circumstances and conclusion, I start trying to figure out the events that will get me there.
To do this, I play ‘what if’, brainstorming events and outcomes, looking for the ones that best fit my story and characters, the ones that will provide story energy and keep readers turning pages.  I build from the current circumstance, throw in Conflict, figure out the Consequences, then identify the new circumstance and so move forward, repeating the steps, taking the story as far as I can. 
You can see this cause / effect chain in the Cinderella example:
*  circumstance - Cinderella decides to go to the ball
conflict - her relatives erect roadblocks
consequence - she is temporarily stymied

*  new circumstance - Fairy Godmother appears, helps Cinderella go to the ball where she meets the prince
Conflict - she must leave before midnight when her finery will disappear
Consequence - she is nearly caught and must race away
and so forth.
The fifth ‘C’, Crisis, is the major event that occurs in the closing act of your story which causes the reader to wonder how your hero will ever reach his reward.  In our Cinderella example, it’s when Cinderella is locked away from the prince and it seems they are doomed to be separated forever.
The sixth “C”, Conclusion,  I’ve already mentioned.  It’s who I want my character to be when the story ends.  If I’ve done my job properly, set up the proper chain of events, I will have believably demonstrated her growth and the sacrifice she endured to prove herself worthy of her reward.
The last ‘C’, Change and Coherence, are filters I use to keep me on track.  I do this by asking the following questions:
·         Did this particular plot point change the situation and/or characters?  If it didn’t, then it doesn’t have a place in my story. 
·         Next, does it have coherence?  Does this event flow logically from the prior one, while remaining true to my character, or did I throw it in because it sounded like a fun scene to write or because I wanted to force the story in a particular direction?  Note, when I say flow logically, I don’t mean predictable.  Surprises are good, so long as you motivate the action in a believable manner.
There you have it, my 7Cs method of plotting.    
So, let me know, did you find it helpful? Do you have a different method you prefer?
Speak up, because I’m giving one of the commenters on this post the choice of any book on my backlist, which can be found at http://www.winniegriggs.com/books.php .
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This month I have a new release out that I’m very excited about. It’s the revised version of the very first book I ever had published. This book has been out of print for the last 12+ years and was never digitized in it’s original release. But I’ve revised it and Serenade Books has given it new life in both print and digital form.  See below for more information on A Matter Of Trust.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Texas, 1892—When Lucy Ames rescues a stranger from being beaten and robbed, she can’t just leave the man to die. But with her reputation in town already in tatters, how can she take this wounded man into her home? All she can do is what’s right…and hope for the best. Unlike Lucy, her young charge, Toby, is delighted to have a man in the house. As much as Lucy wants the man gone, she can’t begrudge Toby the kind of father figure he’s never had before. 

On a self-assigned mission to locate his nephew, Reed Wilder can’t believe his luck when he realizes his beautiful rescuer is the strumpet who beguiled his arrow-straight brother. But she’s not at all what he expected. She’s independent and feisty and…captivating. 

Before either of them realize it, Lucy and Reed fall in love. But how can their relationship survive the secrets that plague them both?



96 comments:

Trixi said...

Winnie, this almost sounds like a recipe when you're cooking...I can see the similarities! Everything must be measured & put in the right order for whatever dish you are making to come out just right. Too much or too little of something & it will lack taste or just be a plain disaster!

I really like seeing a writers method for planning out their stories. Yours makes total sense to me & reading as much as I do, I can see it in so many other peoples writing as well. I really like a well plotted story, something that flows together well & has the layers I so love too! Thanks for sharing your 7 C's method :-) Please also add my name for a backlist book of yours.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Trixi. A recipe is a very good way to think of this. And as any good cook knows a recipe is best used when the cook puts her own personal spin on it! :)

Lyndee H said...

Hi Winnie,
This post is so timely! I just finished my first draft for Harlequin's Manuscript Matchmaker's contest (due next Wed) and as I sift through layering and editing these chapters, I'll be referring to this post. Off to write a synopsis! Thanks for your advice!

Keli Gwyn said...

Hi, Winnie! Your post comes at a great time. I'm plotting my next story, so I can put your tips to use right away.

When I first began writing, I knew diddlysquat about craft and was a pantser. I just splashed words on the page for the sheer joy of writing. As I learned what went into crating a well-structured story, I realized the need for plotting and I went post-it-note crazy. These days I fall somewhere in the middle. Like you, I know the major points in the story and where I aim to end up, but I leave room for surprises along the way. I like to say I'm a plotster. My method isn't for everyone, but it works for me. =)

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Lyndee! So glad you found something in the post that you can apply. There are so many different approaches to plotting so it pays to look for one that speaks to you. And good luck with the submission!!!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Keli - Plotser - I like that! Sounds like much the way I approach tackling that dreaded synopsis :)

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the great post Winnie! I love hearing how authors approach their work. It makes me appreciate their work all the more.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

shortybear said...

glad you shared.

The Artist Librarian said...

I just blogged about it, but I think I could have used some of this in a fanfiction contest I just entered. =P Voting is live though, if anyone is curious to see some of J.L. Mbewe's fantasy characters in a Project Runway-like setting. ;-)

I really liked your Cinderella example to differentiate plot and story. As a reader/reviewer, I would sometimes use the terms interchangeably, but I see that's not really accurate now. =)

Winnie Griggs said...

You're quite welcome Cindy. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

A very interesting post. Being somewhat of an intuitive writer, it's nice to see someone's method all spelled out. And to analyze how I am already doing some of the things you describe. Loved the Cinderella example since I tend to learn by example. That's the show not tell of instructive writing ;-). Your new release sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing your method. Very enlightening!

Jackie said...

Hi Winnie,

It's so good to see you at Seekerville! This is definitely a keeper post. You opened my eyes to some things I'm doing right, and other areas where I can improve. Thanks so much!

As a writer we know the H/H's ordinary life, but I struggle starting the story in the action and still being in their normal life. And not telling to much backstory at the beginning. Does this make sense? (I need caffeine, but I stopped here before getting a jolt.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Artist Librarian. Glad I could help with the plot/story differentiation. And good luck with your fan fiction entry!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Lara! I chose Cinderella because it is a well known story and pretty simple to break down. And thanks for the kind words about A Matter Of Trust!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Jackie. Backstory can be a tricky thing to manage - especially deciding how much to impart and when. I've done workshops on this topic before and did a post right here at Seekerville as well. You can find it at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/search/label/Back%20story
Let me know if that helps or if you have other questions.

Jackie said...

Thanks, Winnie. I'm heading there now.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Great post, Winnie! This is going into my Seekerville notebook which has now expanded into three. I'm all for the simple examples. :) My favorite plotting method is playing the "what if" game. I just have to make sure I hide my notes, so people don't think that I'm crazy. Thanks for visiting!

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Winnie! I enjoy seeing all that goes into writing a book. I appreciate authors that are dedicated to their craft.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, WINNIE! EXCELLENT post. Definitely a keeper!

I'm like KELI -- when I started out I didn't have a clue about story structure. Just sat down and wrote. Never finished anything either! After a lot of trial an error (and some very complex plotting formats on index cards, wipe boards, bulletin boards and spreadsheets), I eventually moved away to something very similar to your "middle ground" method that works best for me. High level pre-planning for the synopsis, then a lot of freedom in the actually writing of the scenes. Thank you for the additional tips!

Suzanne Baginskie said...

Good morning, Winnie. I love your analytical way of thinking. I'm a step by step person too. The good part it helps you put the whole plot in perspective. From there you can brainstorm and it's more apt to work. Thanks for sharing your 3 C's. It's printing out as we speak and going into my writing tip's file. Have a good writing day. Blessing to you.

Yvonne Weers said...

Good morning, Winnie!

One thing that hit me about your post was the fact that plot is not story. I've been studying the craft of plotting lately, and like you I have found I'm more of a pantzer after I know my main turning points. But after reading your post, I think what I was doing subconsciously was hanging too much story onto the bones of plot structure. And to tell you the truth, it sent me into panic mode every time I sat down to plot a new book, thinking I need to know every detail or I wasn't doing it right. But in reality, my stories evolve as I move organically, if you will, from one plot point to the next. And really, that's the fun part of writing for me--watching how my characters handle these obstacles I have placed in their paths.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I need to have more faith in my own process and not expect so much up front from the plot.

Thank you for your post this morning. It was a timely post for me.

Janet Dean said...

WINNIE, welcome back to Seekerville. Thanks for this terrific post on plotting a book. As always, you're an excellent teacher. I may write the first chapter or so but I like to have a very good sense of my plot before I can really get going on the story.

I'm delighted you're giving your first published book new life. The story sounds great. I love secrets!

Janet

kaybee said...

Winnie, this is good advice. While I'm not in any sense a pantser, structure is hard for me and I will keep and refer to this. If we know where we're going, we have less rewriting to do when we get there.
I got out of my funk, just barely, and worked on my Speedbo project. I will end up with eight of the 10 chapters I'd planned on. Won't make deadline but will finish it up in April and will have a Christmas novella to rewrite. It's all to the good, it's one more book under my metaphorical belt even if I didn't quite make deadline and I am pleased.
I'll be working on that for the rest of spring, along with fixing an ongoing issue in the WIP I'm working on with my crit partner. But hey, we never end up where we started from and that's all to the good.
Need to make a living, will check in later.
KB

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Winnie, first I love you.

Your natural teaching ability shines through everything you do, and your books are simply marvelous glimpses into a past I love to read! Thank you for all you do!

This isn't a blog post.

This is a bona fide workshop that if folks print it and pay attention, they can save themselves a whole lot of time and money! THIS IS AWESOME!!!!

I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for taking the time to write this and to hang with us. I love Winnie Griggs' days in Seekerville!

Mary Connealy said...

Winnie thank you for putting into words something that is very HARD to put into words. I see a lot of what I do in your process but I don't think I've ever tried to break it down quite like this.

It's very helpful and makes focusing on what I'm doing easier. THANK YOU.

Cynthia Herron said...

Hi Winnie! Love your method! Like others, in the beginning I was more of a pantser. As my craft grew, I realized my writing would benefit from more structure. I'm not so rigid, though, that I won't deviate from a particular plot point if something fun pops up along the way.

I love, love, (did I mention LOVE?) sticky notes, and I also adore colored note cards attached together with a binder ring. I use a different color for each character, as well as different colors for each circumstance, end-of-chapter hook, etc. May not work for everyone, but I find that really helpful. (And I like color!) :)

Myra Johnson said...

Winnie, your posts are always so informative and easy to understand--thank you! As MARY said, you put into words what many of us do instinctively but don't know how to explain logically.

This process makes perfect sense to me because as a pantser I know very generally how I want the story to end, but to get there, I have to understand my characters. I have to let THEM tell ME how they will react in any given situation, and only then can I figure out what should naturally happen next.

Sherida Stewart said...

Winnie, fabulous post! Definitely helpful...and a keeper! The "C" theme will help me remember your points. On my current Speedbo project, I've planned the plot with character and conflict with the character change in mind. Going forward, I'll use your idea of new circumstance, conflict and consequence to move my story forward in each new scene. Your suggestions help me focus my writing. Thank you!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Winnie -- SO great to have you back in Seekerville, my friend -- I love your posts because you always make me think and see things from a fresh perspective. AND one that is always dead-on!

For instance, you said this: "And today was the next ‘C’ I work on is the Conclusion. This may sound counter-intuitive, but I need to know where I want my character to end up before I start planning how to get them there."

Okay, I will admit that you threw me for a bit of a loop here. LOVE your concept of the "7 Cs of Plotting," but when I saw you placed "conclusion" second, I thought, WHAT??? And then, BOOM! It hit me square in the eyes just how very helpful this is! The fastest book I ever wrote -- A Passion Redeemed, 481 pages in approximately 30 days -- is actually a testimony to your point. The first thing that ever came to me in APR was the first scene and the last scene, and it was just a matter of getting them from point A to B. WHICH, as I recall, ended up being easier for me than any of my other books. So thanks for refreshing my memory on that, my friend, and giving me some solid steps to go by.

Hugs!!
Julie

Beth Erin said...

Winnie, thanks for sharing your methodical process. Congratulations on your new release and thank for sharing from your backlist! Please throw my name in the hat while I go add some to my wish list!

Angela K Couch said...

Thanks, Winnie! I don't think i've ever tried to break it down like this either, but it is close to how I work through my plot, as well. I love that conclusion came near the beginning, b/c it's so true! It helps to see where you are going. :) Congrats on your newest release. I'd love to read more of your work!

Jessica Ferguson said...

This will be so valuable to me since I'm a plotter but I struggle. I love methodical plotting! I approach every book I write in a different way--telling myself that every story dictates how it will be told: seat of the pants, 1/2 & 1/2 or fully plotted. So far, everything has worked for me but not without struggle. I'd love to be a consistent plotter so maybe this will help. Thanks Winnie!

Missy Tippens said...

Winnie, it's good to have you back! I loved your post. I especially loved your last step, coherence, which will help with what I'm doing right now!

Missy Tippens said...

Lyndee, congrats on finishing the first draft!!

Missy Tippens said...

Yvonne W, yes! Definitely have faith in your own method. We're all different. Plus, we all change as we move from story to story, too!

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

Oh the backstory!! I have to laugh because on more than one occasion I set out to write a story about a given set of characters, started working on their backstories, and ended up backtracking to a completely different set of characters at a different time. Perhaps this is how my current WIP has ended up seeming so convoluted. Before Speedbo I was working on the modern day events. During Speedbo I've backed up by about a decade to cover the childhood of one of the characters who wasn't supposed to be all that important. But it turns out his history is worth a story of its own :-). So maybe I'll make it a series.

Just read your backstory post. Also very interesting. Thanks for the link!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Genius. Pure genius. I am printing this off now. I have a method but this will definitely help me to figure out things when I am stuck. Which I am often.

Sigh.

Thanks, Winnie. Once again you hit it out of the ball park.

Jan Drexler said...

Super post, Winnie.

And your 7 C's will be helpful as I read through my WIP, looking for things to revise. Keeping the C's in mind will help me organize and analyze my story as I go.

Thanks!

Lisa said...

I'm so excited! I met my Speedbo goal last night! Woo hoo!!!! And I'm picking up momentum. I'm hoping to have the first draft of my first book done in three weeks.

Meghan Carver said...

We're slow on commenting this second-to-last day of Speedbo. I know I've been MIA quite a few days. :-)

Good morning, Winnie! Thanks for sharing your 7C's. I love knowing other writers' plotting techniques. It's so helpful as I tweak my own.

Wilani Wahl said...

Thanks Winnie your 7C will be very helpful.

As I am continuing to allow my body to heal itself, I am working on writing and editing hoping to at least get something accomplished in Speedbo. I am so grateful for all the prayers. The Lord is so good.

Cheering others on as we head to the end of Speedbo,

Laurie Wood said...

Hello Winnie, this post came at the perfect time! I've been struggling with re-writing a synopsis that needed 2 sub-plots removed from it, and now with your 7 C's it's become like crystal again. I will definitely be referring to this post in the future. I'm a visual person so I do pinterest boards, which then become vision boards, and then I move to post-it notes on bristol board and finally everything goes in to Scrivener once I know where I'm going. I like to have a visual map and then be able to layer things in when I'm writing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I love to learn how other authors write and work with their inspiration. Please enter me in your draw as well.

Christina Rich said...

A timely post for me, Winnie. I'm working on a story and for the first time I don't have a physical villain threatening my heroine.

Christina Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharee Stover said...

I love the 7C's! An easy way to remember the road I'm on since I tend to weave all over the map and forget what I was gonna do to start with :)

DebH said...

HI Winnie!
this is an awesome post. I've already copy/pasted it into my writing helps folder on my computer. this is going to help me so much when I start another manuscript. I'm a bit weak in the plotting department. This is soooooooooooooo cool. THANK YOU!!!!

And I love your blurb on your recycled book. I would LOVE to win a copy, but need to add it to my wish list so I don't forget to buy it if I don't.

Bettie said...

I love this post. It will definitely go in my keeper file. Thank you so much for sharing. Please enter me in your drawing.

By the way the speedbo goal has been reached. It was a simple one for a busy person but 6 chapters written and revised.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Jill. I'm so glad you found something yo could use in my post. And hiding things is a lost cause - everyone already knows writers are crazy :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Caryl, thanks for those very kind words!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Glynna - yes, 'middle ground' plotting is a good description for this! And you're quite welcome

Debby Giusti said...

Winnie, great info! I'm trying to decide how my process melds with yours. Seems there's a bit of overlap. Love that you've encapsulated everything in 7 C's!

Thanks for being with us!

Your "new" book looks wonderful. Love the blurb. Ah, such conflict! Perfect!!!

Pam Hillman said...

Ohh, Winnie, I love this! Bookmarking so that I can see if this works for me for plotting. I love straight-forward directions that get me from B to E.... Beginning to End!

Winnie Griggs said...

Suzanne, I'm definitely an analytical type (not always a good thing!). I majored in math during my college years and afterwards worked for years as a computer programmer. But writing is much more fun :)

Marianne Barkman said...

I've said this before, but I'll bore you with again. I wish more (okay, a lot more) authors belonged to or atleast subscribed to this blog! Only good stuff here! Thanks, Winnie for being here. I'd love to be entered for one of your books!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Yvonne. Yes, when you have a method or process that works for you, stick with it. Of course it's always good to be open to trying new things, but never feel you need to change things just because something works for someone else.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Janet! Thanks for those very kind words - about the post and the book!

Winnie Griggs said...

Kaybee, hello. Glad you enjoyed the post. And good luck on all of your projects - sounds as if you have your plate full!

Winnie Griggs said...

Ruthie!!! I love you too. And I love spending time in Seekerville too. Thanks for the kind words about my post.

Winnie Griggs said...

You're quite welcome Mary, but I've read your books and I don't think you need any help in the plotting department!

Sandy Smith said...

Thanks for this wonderful post, Winnie. I will certainly refer to it when I'm writing my book. I plotted the book and knew how I wanted to begin and how it would end, but wasn't at all sure how the story would get there. I have been just writing scenes during Speedbo to get me to that end and along the way discovering what I need to get to that ending.

Please enter me for the drawing. I would love to read A Matter of Trust.

Kav said...

Ohhhhhh -- I love this. Awesome advice that I understand! And using Cinderella as an example is the perfect reference point. Happy end of Speedboing everybody.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Cynthia. I think there are a lot of us who started out as pantsers. I've never tried sticky notes or index cards myself, but I know a lot of writers who swear by them so you're definitely not alone there. Knowing me, though, if I tried it I would just end up losing the things :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Myra, thanks for the kind words, glad the post spoke to you. And of course you do this instinctively - your books speak to how well you plot.

Winnie Griggs said...

Sherida, glad to hear that the post helped. Good luck with your current project!

Winnie Griggs said...

Julie - LOL, glad I made you think. My mind doesn't always attack problems linearly, which can cause me some grief in some instances, but in this case it actually helps me figure things out more effectively.

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Great post, Winnie! I'm always looking for ways to improve my plotting process. I especially
loved #7. I think it's important to ask if the scene has changed my character. I'm going to ask myself that from now on. Thank you!

Missy Tippens said...

Wilani, I'm glad to hear you're continuing to heal.

Missy Tippens said...

Lisa, congratulations on meeting your goal!! :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Beth - thanks for stopping by and your name is definitely going into the hat :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Angela, I'm happy you found something in this post to help you with your writing. And thanks for the kind words on my books

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Jessica. A struggling plotter, oh my I can soooooo relate. I'm starting a new book at the moment and that blank page is taunting me...

Sarah Claucherty said...

Great points, Winnie! Thanks for sharing.

Monica Epstein said...

Perfect timing for your post! I've written the first draft of my WIP from the seat of my pants, and now I need to make sure it's got the right plot points. Looking at each of the 7 C's should help.

Crystal said...

Wonderful post Winnie!

I found several things I definitely will pull on. My current strategy for plotting is finding my GMC, Mirror Moment, and then Black Moment for each character of my book. From there I am able to throw scenes together for each GMC/MM/BM on index cards, rearrange them however I like, and then evaluate their usefulness. I am probably one of those over planners. I was a panster and had fun writing that way, but when I became serious about writing for someone other than myself, I realized there is a lot more I need to take into consideration. This is the first time I have used this method and so far I think I like it. I am still in the planning stages but I should be done by the end of Speedbo! YES, new goal met! (Hopefully!)

I copied your questions for Change and Coherence to my list of things to look at as I plot. It will go a long way to making me think critically about what works and what doesn't. Well my husband is probably falling asleep on the recliner waiting for me, so I am off to bed. Thank you for a great post!


Have a blessed evening,
Crystal

Tanya Agler said...

Winnie, Thank you for even more ideas on questions and tools to think about when plotting. I think this month has shown me a new twist in the plotting and is making me think ahead of time more about the change the characters go through to get to their HEA. I've known about GMC, but you and Missy both are making me think and answer from the beginning what that key moment is and why the character changes.

Thanks.

Cate Nolan said...

I read this early this morning, Winnie, but didn't make it back to post til now. Thanks so much for this wonderful lesson.

I started out with the wild, write for the fun of it style, but with each book I'm getting a little better at working things out. I love to write into the mist, but it slows me down when I can't see two feet ahead. I'm learning to create my own system, but I'm going to give this a whirl and see what I can take from it to meld with my style. Thanks for sharing.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Missy - it's fun to BE back! And so glad you liked the post!

Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks Tina! Glad you enjoyed the post!

Winnie Griggs said...

Thanks Jan! The revision phase is my favorite! I much prefer to layer and polish than to write that first draft. Good luck!

Winnie Griggs said...

Congratulations Lisa!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Meghan. Tweaking is a good way to go - take the pieces that work for you and ignore the rest!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Wilani, glad to hear you're healing. Wishing that continues at a quick pace.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Laurie. It sounds like you have a pretty good method working for you already. Glad my post gave you some ideas for adding to your process

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Christina! LOL, how ever did that happen! :)

Winnie Griggs said...

LOL Sharee, glad I could help you build your story road map

Winnie Griggs said...

DebH- hello! Thank you for your kind words, I'm honored to be included in your writing helps folder. And glad you like the looks of my new release :)

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Bettie. congratulations on meeting your goal! I hope you take some time to celebrate.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Debby, visiting here at Seekerville is my pleasure, as always!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Pam. Let me know how this works out for you once you get a chance to try it out.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Marianne, you're quite welcome. And consider yourself entered!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Sandy - thank for those kind words. Good luck with your story and of course you are entered!

Hi Kav. Glad you found value in the post. I thought Cinderella would make for a very simple and familiar reference point

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Gabrielle. Constantly looking for opportunities to learn is one mark of a dedicated writer - sound like you fit the bill! Good luck with your writing projects.

Sarah Claucherty, you're quite welcome.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Monica, glad the timing worked for you. And good luck as you dive into the editing and polishing phase

Hi Crystal, wow, it sounds as if you are a much more structured plotter than I am. For which I totally envy you.

Winnie Griggs said...

Hi Tanya. You're quite welcome. And I'm glad some of the items in my post spoke to you. Just remember there is no one method that works for everyone.

Hello Cate. Thanks for returning to drop me a note. And it sounds like your writer's journey is very similar to mine.

Naomi Shores said...

I'm always looking for advice on writing. Thank you for your tips. Your book sounds really good!

Winnie Griggs said...

Hello Naomi, so glad you stopped by. You're quite welcome and thanks for the nice comment on my new release.