I’m currently writing a book on plotting and I’m reading sections out to my writers’ group because they’re my target market. The most common request from them is to show how how the theory works. But that’s not easy. I can’t use well-known books as examples because I can only see the final result of the creative process. I don’t know for sure how their authors thought up the stories.
At obvious solution was to use my own books as examples. But that doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped because I don’t want to reveal all the twists and turns of my stories to people who haven’t read them. (It would be a spoiler overload.) Also I can’t actually remember the ups and downs of the plotting process in enough detail to use it as a good demonstration.
So I’ve decided to create a plot in real time while I write the book. This will allow me to show my readers all the false starts and changes of mind that we all have. I can show step outlining live and demonstrate how to go backwards and forwards in a plot, gradually building up the details, rather than try to create perfection first time from start to finish.
The members of my writers’ group are enjoying watching the process and even starting to suggest ideas on what might happen next. I’m enjoying it too. It’s difficult and demanding but it’s stretching me to create a completely different plot from anything I’ve ever done before. It started as a one-off story and has already developed into the first book in a trilogy with some very deep themes.
If this approach proves successful, I way well write another book looking at the actual writing process – dialogue, scene building, etc – where I’ll show various ways to bring the scenes from my plot to life on paper. Who knows, I might even end up writing that trilogy too.