Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tick Tock Plot: This Writer's Journey to Becoming a Plotter

30 Books in 30 Days Challenge

Day One:

Today I read, Tick Tock Plot. When I started out as a writer, I was a full blown pantser (a person who flies by the seat of her pants while she writes)... Now, I am a hybrid of a plotter and a pantser and I find this a much easier process. I didn't take plotting seriously until I took James Patterson's Masterclass and discovered what an invaluable tool this really is.

After that class I wrote Remote Paranoia (PBI Case Files #5) which was part of a box set anthology "Wicked After Dark" that hit the New York Times Bestseller list October 2015. Plotting wasn't the only thing I learned in that class, but it was my greatest takeaway. I am able to produce tighter, page turning stories in half the time I did prior to learning the importance of plotting.

I can tell you, even now, as I continue to grow in the plotting arena, I still leave room for pantsing and this is because I think my creativity would be stifled if I don't allow for some wiggle room while writing.

A lot of what I read in Tick Tock Plot was familiar to me and I had been putting many of the principles into practice already, without a solid process/system in place. This book helped me design my own system, different from the one on the pages, but similar enough to hit criteria expected in today's industry standard. I think that is important, when learning something, identifying what will work for you and what won't and mixing it into your own concoction is a way to find and grow successfully. It is what the author Jacqueline Garlick did in this book. She took many of the principles from Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet  and adapted them into her own process for creating blockbuster novels. The plotting process in this book doesn't stop with the Beat Sheet, she takes it two steps further.

Her idea is to place the components on the beat sheet onto the face of a clock and break it down in timely increments and then plot out the scenes in accordance to the timed theories. In my opinion, this has the potential to create great page turners. In fact, I'm trying a variation of this process with my next book, Cursed (Blood Courtesans Series) which is scheduled to be released November 15th. I spent the day plotting, designing a process from all my lessons from various sources (including the ones in this book) and life experiences and have produced a super solid outline for Cursed. I'm excited to get started on the writing and see how well the story flows. What I essentially have at this point is a very, very rough draft and now my challenge will be to fill in the rest of the story, character components, and bring the final product to life. My goal is to see if I can create the second rough draft to this 45k book in two weeks. I have a super great foundation at this point so I have a good feeling this is one challenge I will find success in.

All in all, the book was well written, had great graphics and the process was easy to read, understand and adapt. Now the question is how well my new process will work. We will find out in 14 days.

Thanks for joining me on this 30 day challenge.

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