Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wrestling with Life and My Plotting Cards

I had my darling son (and all-around fabulous critiquer and brainstormer and savvy reader) home from college all week and therefore I did not blog as promised about all my further tips with 3x5 card plotting.

I promise I am going to. I promise, cross my heart!

I did get to see and hear the lovely and terrific Shannon Hale speak at Alamosa Books though! And took son and hubby along after we went to the movies and saw the exciting The Bourne Legacy and had dinner. I dragged them! And then they laughed and had a wonderful time and we all bought lots of books!

It was a great crowd (forgot my camera - dang it!) and fun times joking around with Shannon as she signed Jared's copy of Princess Academy and the topic of boys reading "girl" books came up. She challenged Jared to read her books - which is not much of a hardship since he will read just about anything. She's blogged about this very topic right here - AND scroll down to see all of her very cute pictures of boys and men reading Princess Academy! Fun stuff: http://oinks.squeetus.com/



So my son is now gone and I'm missing him and wrestling with my own 3x5 card plotting for the book I sold a few weeks ago to Scholastic on proposal. My synopsis and cards and brainstorming was done way back in June so I'm trying to figure out what I have and where all the holes are now that I have a few weeks to draft this book (Scholastic wants the book in October! I kid you not so I'm actually scrambling). This was yesterday:


I spread them on my beautiful rug (after I vacuumed it!) and tried to put them in order (because they'd dropped way back when I last worked on them in June and I just stuffed them into a drawer) and yes, I have holes in my plot. I also think that some event sequences may likely change after I get a few chapters into the drafting. I also need a few more specific scenes during a certain time of the plot (and yes, I'm being very mysterious about what that is . . . )

The cards at the top of my picture are notes on my Main Character. I've known in the back of my mind these past many weeks as I've been working on the Very Hard Revision That Blew My Brains Out On My Sexy Young Adult Novel for Harpercollins - that I didn't know my MC very well yet. I  didn't know enough about her quirks, her habits, her hobbies, her deep desires, and that I needed to work on that before I could continue drafting. (I only have one chapter written that needs some fleshing out).

So I spent a little bit of time with my daughter and we talked on the way home from church last Sunday and miraculously, in just a few minutes, I was already bursting with ideas. So I wrote those ideas down on several cards and placed them up at the top of my sequence since they're not plot points or scenes.

Of course, the new character cards went missing on Monday when I went to retrieve them! They just walked off my desk in my bedroom, the nerve of them!

Then I discovered them in the kitchen with purple scribble all over from the Very Cute Toddlers who live with me. At least they're still readable.

There are some clues to a mystery in my book that I still need to nail down more specifically. I need to know what the clues say and when they will occur in the story timeline, but I may need to just start drafting a little bit blindly and see what inspires me when the characters start acting more on their own and I get to know them better.

Sometimes writing is taking one step into the darkness until the candlelight follows and lights the way more clearly . . . but the answers usually come somehow, some way.

So stay tuned for more Juicy and Very Helpful details about 3x5 Card Plotting after the holiday weekend!

~Kimberley

P.S. If you haven't already please find me on Facebook and Twitter!

P.P.S. Anybody going anywhere fun for the holiday weekend? I'd love to run away but I need to draft three chapters . . . some chocolate chip cookies may very well Be In My Future in Order To Sustain Drafting Mode . . . 


3 comments:

Caroline Starr Rose said...

A little birdie told me if you go over to Alamosa's FB page, you'll find a picture of you and Shannon. Don't ask me how I know, since I'm on a FB break. It's a secret. :)

I had a lovely time with you and Jennifer yesterday!

Christina said...

I loved the Princess Academy! So exciting that you met the author!
I am working on a variation of your card plotting because my book needs some scenes and I'm not sure where to put them. I printed it out so I could do a hard-copy read through and I've got cards paper clipped to pages so I can pull them off and write that scene or add that perfect touch.
Can't wait for your next post!

Christina said...

I loved the Princess Academy! So exciting that you met the author!
I am working on a variation of your card plotting because my book needs some scenes and I'm not sure where to put them. I printed it out so I could do a hard-copy read through and I've got cards paper clipped to pages so I can pull them off and write that scene or add that perfect touch.
Can't wait for your next post!

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