Saturday 10th February 2018
It’s a pretty lazy weekend this weekend. Fingergeddon means I’m still not fit to fight, and being on call with the day job means I can’t really go anywhere.
So I spent a part of today working on the plot for book 3.
I was working primarily with Scrivener’s corkboard feature today. I laid out the chapters I knew and then started working backwards and forwards from those points, seeing if there were ways to connect the dots.
The big question I had today was in the murder-mystery subplot. I have a number of potential victims, and *spoiler alert* the identity of those victims is what leads to a discovery over the course of the novel. Now some attempts could be thwarted, but I’m finding I have an awful lot of attempts going on.
So the question I have is how many before the hero cottons on? If I do all of them I think it’ll be a drag… and I’m not sure I could do them all without being repetitive in some way. So I need to understand how many I need for my hero to put two and two together and get nine, without it seeming like a very random conclusion.
There are other clues I could place that could help speed up the decision: the killer could leave evidence, or items could be found but I need to work out how many of these clues and how many victims.
With the other subplot, I’m at more of a loss. I have an idea of the conclusion but I’m not sure what happens leading up to it. How do I maintain threat and keep this an active part of the plot? I’ve gone so far as to put in placeholder chapters where I think they’re possibly needed.
The corkboard function means I can move cards around, but I do want the various subplots to feed and drive each other forward. At the moment, I’m just not sure how.
By the end of my session, I had about a third of the scenes locked in. Now some of these will be consolidated with others as my ideas tighten, and many have absolutely no detail. There’s also very little connecting them all.
But, you know… it’s a start.
I actually felt quite drained by it at the end despite spending no more than a couple of hours on it. I used to think this was the height of laziness for a writer but it’s amazing how much high level creativity takes out of you. It can feel as taxing a two hour heavy gym session.
I’ve told myself that I’ve got until March 1st to put the plot together. I have no idea whether this is a reasonable time or not. Always seems to me that plotting wants 1 more week than you’re prepared to give it. But seeing as this is purely going to be used for a synopsis, I will always have chance to refine and change it before I actually do start on the first draft later this year.
For the time being, it’s something solid that I can now think around, although I think it’ll be a few days before I come back to it.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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