A few months ago, I received some wonderful feedback from an editor at Entangled Publishing. Seems she enjoyed my story Fairless, but needed to see character development and plot revision before considering accepting this manuscript.
I was floored! She took the time to explain what wasn't working and even gave me suggestions as to how to fix them.
Easy peesy, right? You would think!
As I studied these wonderful, professional suggestions, I began to see a pattern. I didn't really grasp this character's motivation (my first clue? She called my protagonist "flighty". Never a good thing). And my plot was weak since it was based on this protagonist's actions.
Pull a thread and it all comes unraveled. Time for a full re-write.
So, I hit the books. K.M. Weiland is my go-to gal for plotting (although I also love the Snowflake Method). First, I studied story structure using her bookStructuring Your Novel, then I perused her blog on creating stunning character arcs. Incredible stuff.
A month later, I had pages of notes, a plan of attack... and no idea how to implement any of it.
Just how do you turn a plot outline into a draft? All those bullet points, helpful as they were, just didn't seem to translate into a draft. Sorry if that seems like a no-brainer, but remember--this brain is a bit older and stubbornly set in its way. I'm a panster, through and through (maybe that's why I'm in this pickle!)
Enter a wonderful writer-friend, Judy Post, over at wordpress.com. She's been a mentor and constant source of support. Recently, she shared some tips on how she turns plot points into a working draft. I soaked up every word.
Questions. She asks and answers lots of questions in order to develop a scene from a simple plot point.
Ahhh... I get it. Questions I can do!
Judy promises to publish more on her process. I'll be ready when she does! You can find her blog at writingmusings.com or visit her webpage, where she is currently sharing chapters of one of her stories at http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
How about you? What's your process? How do you turn a plot into a draft?
I'd love to hear from you!