Plotting Along – Thank You, Theresa Meyers!
I spent the day in a local Romance Writer’s workshop yesterday with Theresa Meyers ( http://www.theresameyers.com/index.php ). All but a couple of us were writers of the romance genre or sub-genres, but most of what she had to teach us transcended genres. I’d decided to take the class because I’d thought the class was focused on editing, but it turns out that the entire morning was focused on plotting.
Once I realized my mistake, I kind of mentally poo-pooed the morning session, thinking that I already understood plot and structure. Plotting wasn’t something I thought I had problems with. But once I saw her method, I realized that she had a MUCH better way of going about it than I’d been using.
See, that’s one of the things I love about writing. I still have so much to learn, that I don’t know what I don’t know until it smacks me upside the head. Theresa, a prolific writer, shared her plotting techniques with us; from scene structure to (be still my heart) using Post-it notes on a white board to structure the novel as a whole. She does this before she starts the actual writing, and although she makes adjustments along the way, it enables her to WRITE VERY FAST.
I must confess, that I have an inordinate love of anything that uses Post-it notes, but that was not the only reason I loved her plotting method. Seeing the visual of the story line, elements, and subplots color-coded on the white-board reveals plot holes and missing components in a way that my old scene templates and tables never could. I loved that the story board lets you develop a story outline WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THE STORY. I know it sounds strange, but this was earth-shattering for me. I’d reached a spot in my Destiny manuscript where I’d reached the story middle too soon, and didn’t know what to do next. With Ms. Meyers method, it’s much easier for me to map where I am and realize that in my rush to get to the midpoint, I’d left out several critical subplot elements. Doh!
So thank you, Theresa Meyers, and the Couer d’Bois Romance Writers for sponsoring this great plotting and editing workshop; I learned a lot. Can’t wait to start playing!