I’ve gotten lazy… or lucky… with the last few books. When they were ready, they just dumped out of my head without me having to do a lot of plotting. It was all in my head and I just took dictation. At times I couldn’t type fast enough (and I’ve been clocked at over 120 wpm in my heyday). Remember how fast The Billionaire Submissive roared out of me? 70K in like 40 days and I didn’t have to revise a ton (unlike my original Fast Draft ms which I still haven’t ever done anything with).
However, the downside to this is that sometimes the book had to marinate in my head a long time. Either I was working on it subconsciously (Mama C) for years or I managed to just miraculously tap into the Great Ether of Story (Billionaire). I can’t count on that happening every time and I don’t want to let Billionaire #2 marinate. I want it done, signed sealed and delivered as quickly as possible.
I know how to plot. I just haven’t done it in a while.
So I opened up Scrivener tonight and went through all my various plotting templates I’d started and never really used. I have a Snyder’s Beats template, a Hero’s Journey template, the old original “Block” the Witch first taught me. Some of each technique is here or there or not really useful. And the MOST useful thing that I used to use all the time but haven’t in awhile: The Emotional Toolbox. It’s nowhere in my templates.
Today, I started a Master Plotting template. I’m going to have a folder for each bit of plotting technique I’ve learned that makes sense for me. That way I can copy, paste, delete, move whatever makes sense for each story. Then I also went through the Character Map questions today to refresh my memory and created a cool little graphic/worksheet that will jog my memory.
Before I lumber off to bed tonight, I’m going to take a first stab at running Jackson Montgomery Warring through the Character Map to figure out what’s going on in his head. (If you’re wondering who I’ve cast in this role, take a peek.)
At least I already know the first song in the playlist: Willie Nelson’s Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.
And yeah, Jackson is the Angel who crashed and burned.