True to my resolution, I sat down to (hopefully) finish revising chapter two. I reviewed the notes I made after my writers’ group had finished their critique. Good food for thought. All that was left was to beef up one of the characters, and add a few paragraphs (?) to clarify a plot point. Easy huh?
Two hours later, I was yelling at my computer; a quick research task (that should have taken 15 minutes to confirm a little historical factoid) took over two hours as the little circle of doom kept spinning in front of me, on my computer screen. I stared at the screen… I stared some more. I had a dummy spit over inept electronics.
I decided to go ice the fruitcake left over from Christmas. That was a stroke of procrastinating genius! After I sat back down with a cup of tea and yummy fruitcake, I decided I would go ‘old school’ and pulled out my notebook.
I sized up the reviews and promptly put them to one side, having found a ‘novel plot grid’ I had forgotten all about. There are many versions of this to be found on the internet. I give thanks to Emma Darwin (author of the Mathematics of Love and Secret Alchemy) who has a blog - This Itch of Writing. She offers a pdf of a novel plot grid that you can use yourself - for free.
I started adding in the notes for chapter 3, then for the past chapters 1 and 2. Can I call it procrastination when I am avoiding revisions but spend the next hours working out plot lines and sub plot lines? In the end I have the major plot/subplot(s), ‘back story revealed” and ‘offstage’ points for the first 5 chapters and a bit on the sixth.
I am feeling more centred, less frustrated (after spend the time giggling at some of the possible antics they characters may get up to) and more confident about what I am going to dive in and write tomorrow. (Certain members of my writers’ group will be clapping about now.) After scratching my head about rewriting a whole scene, I realised that I could easily move a plot point to occur later, halving the amount of fiddling I have to do. Huzzah, she can walk!
Of course this could all change by next week, if the characters decide they don’t want to co-operate. Sigh.
A New Year. A New Approach.