Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Writer's Tip -#mysteries taken from How To Write Mysteries by Shannon OCork - Plot

What I found of interest here appeals to me since I am a plotter, sort of. There's always a situation that triggers my thoughts on a story. I'll talk here about what triggered The Micro-manager Murder due out in March 2013 from DiskUs Publishing. I knew the older heroine Katherine was marrying Lars who has made appearances in the other stories. But the scene of her leaving her wedding to go to the rescue of a friend who has been accused of murderrted the story rolling. That scene didn't start the book only my creative juices.

Situations often pop into a writer;s head and b twists and turns this situation could become a romance, a mystery or any other genre, but the situation isn't the plot. It's only a starting point in creating a story.

"A plot is a situation carried through to a fitting conclusion." Shannon OCork from How To Write Mysteries.
The plot is the story but therore to a story than plot.

All stories neand this is what a plot is. That doesn't mean you need to follow this outline slavishly. Changes happen. Characters make different decisions. Research sends you in new directions. The setting adds a bit of difference. The plot takes the situation and adds goals and motives of the characters, or their reasons for reaching the goal.

So don't just sit down and write thousands of words without having a goal. In the beginning you need a map, Once you've written a lot of stories, the plotting can be done in your head. When I wrote my first story years ago, I didn't know about plot and that story was written and re-written over and over again. It wasn't a mystery though there was an element of mystery in the story. That was the trigger sending the heroine to leave her home and find love elsewhere. My first mystery was better planned and the writing went much faster because I had a map to guide me along the way. The same for the first paranormal I wrote. For me having a map, even if it wa only in my head helped.

How about you? Do you plan your story ahead of time, either in your head or on paper?

1 comment:

Marianne Stephens said...

I do a lot of head writing. Then I do a sentence outline...more like a sentence per what I think will be in a chapter.
I keep those sentences at the bottom of the page and start writing. As I expand on those sentences, I delete them from the bottom of the page...they're always visible as I write until I delete all of them at the end! Happy Thanksgiving.