She realised, thanks mostly paying attention to opinions about plotting, including Lisa Shearin's, that filling in the missing plot pieces before commencing means she'll understand character's motivations, thus hopefully making the wip believable. Lisa has unknowingly won me other to the pros of major plotting before letting my fingers loose in a document.
For the first post, what spoke to me was tieing everything into the story. Lisa may be talking in terms of her Raine series, but for me I want all elements of the story to tie in together. I don't want Beta's thinking 'huh? why is this here?' Which, in truth, is what has happened in the past. I've never really sat down and plotted the main parts of a wip. It shows.
- Misty Chaos: has had at least 3 major rewrites before I've come up with a version I'm happy with. The latest version hasn't been written yet, but I know what's going to happen.
- Imperial Intrigue: the first version...didn't work. There were holes in the story. I sat down, gave a rough plot of the idea for the next major revision. One lovely fellow writer helped me brainstorm and come up with a story which will work much better than the first.
- Termion - I didn't totally wing it. Although I didn't plot all major details, I did plot the main ones. Muse wasn't so keen on it, but it worked out in the end. She added a few twists which I couldn't have come up with in the main plotting stage. Betas have it, so I'll see if it work.
- Character development: characters must make mistakes and grow throughout a novel. So, this morning I figured out the main plot. I then wrote the main plot lines for each person/group. I then wrote 1 sentence for how each group/person grows. Great way to focus!
- Keeping the story moving: In retrospect (apologies to Betas) there are possibly a few scenes which don't really move Termion forward. By figuring out the main scenes of action in the story, my muse can set to work on keeping the in between scenes propelling the story forward in one way or another. If i'd just started writing, I would have drifted around and come up with scenes that aren't that good - again, wasting precious time. That's not to say every scene I write in this draft will make the finished product, but hopefully I'm improving on writing efficiency.
- Figuring out what happens yet: instead of just writing, then spending ages thinking about it, I brain stormed this morning, thinking 'If x happens, does it make sense? Why would the people do that? What are their motives? Is it plausible?' It helped me discard certain options (mostly because they are more relevant for a different wip).
- Keeping hopes up for an agent: um, yes well I don't have a problem with that one. It's an internal confidence that I'm never going to give up. I'll get there one day!
So, although I have been watching dvds, I've been ironing out creases in plot. Betas for this might decide it doesn't work, but now I know I can go ahead and write it without worrying about the plot holes - because they aren't there! :D
Brain feels like its worked pretty hard, so I'm going to take a break for a few hours. A real break...watching anime is still work because I've turned the subtitles off. Going to read! Give muse more food. And grab some real food.
So that's the story of how I've got great elements of plotting in my muse, instead of just winging most of it.