At writing group last weekend, my critique partners mentioned they liked my latest project but were wondering where it was going, exactly. “Me too!” I said (in more or less words). I know a lot of writers who like to outline everything and map out exactly where their characters are going, but that doesn’t really work for me. I’m more of a “write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” kind of writer–I have a vague idea of where I’m going, but I don’t have a strict outline and write toward where the characters feel like they should be going. Which sometimes makes it difficult to create a real plot.
So of course I was psyched to see this hilarious comic from Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro about creating plot.
Make sure to click through for the rest. I especially like Yolen’s comment at the end: ““There are two kinds of writers—the ones who figure out a plot ahead of time before writing, and the ones who set their characters in motion and then run after them saying, “Hey. . .wait for me.”” The latter is definitely more like me. And it might take a little while to figure out exactly what’s going on and how it should all come together, but there’s something exciting about chasing after your characters and learning about what’s important to them.
Okay, in case you’re a pants-er like me and do want some plot guidance, here are some great suggestions for laying out a basic plot map.
(image: Mike Cavallaro and Jane Yolen, via Figment) (H/T Lauren M Barrett)