Weaving in your Novel Subplots (Part One: Planning the Subplot Arc Acts)

Ahhh, subplots! So wonderful to read, but how in the heck do you keep tack of them when you’re writing?

One Way:

In his book, The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time, Joseph Bates gives a chart on Worksheet 22.

Another way:

Martha Alderson aka Plot Whisperer can do it in her Plot Tracker.

Yet another way:.

Take each and add it as a “plotline” or “tag” to Hiveword. See my reviews under the “software” category.

My way:

Blueprint Your Bestseller: Organize and Revise Any Manuscript with the Book Architecture Method .

Because it’s aimed to not only to fiction writers, he uses “odd” words in place of subplot. But then again, he’s not tracking only subplots. Using The Ugly Duckling, he tracks: weather, ugliness, and BUNCHES of other things. Is “weather” a setting, a symbol, a motif? That’s probably why he calls them “series.”

 

If you want to try this way,  download the Excel sheet you want. (It may look strange until you click “enable editing.”  Also. connect the cells on the right to the layout Jami has so the spreadsheet continues.)

On those columns on the right, on R2 (on my chart), instead of  “Book Title” add the heading for the main plot & B plot, each with its own colored type or highlight. Continuing adding your subplots/series titles horizontally.

Then, in their own column, add vertically the Beat/point in that subplot/series/settings/whatever. Don’t worry where in the book it will appear—or if it will it appear at all. Just get their story sketched out. Add beats for the subplots/whatever as though they were your main plot.

Is that sound I hear you all yelling, “There isn’t enough room in a cell for everything I need to say.” Don’t forget you can add comments.

When you are finished (for the moment), add it to your OneNote Novel notebook. Click on “Insert,” then “file printout.” If this works correctly, the chart will show up in that page and you can see it whenever you want. If it doesn’t print correctly, attach it as a file. Either way, you’ll be able to click on the Excel symbol at the top of the page and open the file in Excel. No more: Where did I save that file to? And when you change the original file, OneNote tells you the file has changed & allows you to update it on the page.

Your Next Action: Outline your Subplots/series

Building your Novel Bible (Part Four: Planning the Plot Arc Acts)

Okay, Pansters, go write your book & come back here when you’re finished so you can get your rough draft into the right structure.

Outliners, you probably already have these books, perhaps even the worksheets. But just in case…

My favorite book is:

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

Tim Stout: Writer, Editor & Story Consultant Tim Stout has a great blog about Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

 

But I also love everything Larry Brooks. Begin with Story Structure — Demystified.

Larry also has a great blog, StoryFix.

From my view, the biggest difference is Larry is a Thriller writer & doesn’t wax on about a character’s backstory: Writing Successful Fiction: When What You Don’t Know Trumps What You Do Know. But he gave a great Characterization Series blog.

Jami Gold has a great blog. She also has a wonderful way with Excel:

 

Story Arc Beat Sheets

Your Next Action: Plot your book

But if you have subplots or multiple VP characters, you might want to read the next post first.

 

 

Building your Novel Bible (Part Three: Planning the Character Arc Acts)

In your Novel notebook, go to the page called Act One Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 1: Overview)

Add a subpage for each Character Arc step that happens. Link the title to the Character Arc step page.

Add a Setting link at the top of the page.

Repeat for the other acts.

Now you’re ready to see how well you carried out your original inspiration.

Again, open another OneNote and split the screen.

On the left screen, the synopsis pages you did (one at a time). If not change either your synopsis or your Character Arc.

 

* Add a subpage for any action that strengthens, causes, and/or enhances the Character Arc subpages.

Your Next Action item is: Outline your plot.

by Josephine Wall

Building your Novel Bible (Part Two: Characters)

In your Novel Notebook, create a tab (section) called Characters.

Add a page titled [Character’s Name] followed by dashes: Joe Smith — (the dashes will help you search later).

Import/copy whatever form you use to develop your character (or your character’s info if you have it created already).

Add a subpage.

Title it [Character Name] Arc.

Add a subpage to Arc subpage (you can go three deep-this is the third) for each Arc step. Put in whatever notes you want.


Character Arcs: Founding, forming and finishing your character’s internal journey (Writing Craft) (Volume 1)

Now, open up another OneNote and put them in split screen view.

How to Use Split Screen Mode in Windows 8.1

Step 1.

On the left screen, go to your Theme page.

On the right one, keep the Character Arc page open.

* Add any ideas on how to strengthen your Theme in each those Character Arc steps.

Step 2.

Change the left screen to Settings.

* Which of these settings best shows the Character Arc and Theme?

Link the two. On the Setting page, copy the name of the Character Arc & make it a hyperlink. On the Character Arc page, add the name of the setting & hyperlink it.

 

Your Next Action:

Add a page for every Character and Character Arc (if they have one) and any information you have about each character and research. Put it all together here.

by Josephine Wall

Building your Novel Bible (Part One: Setting)

It’s Eat That Frog time! Were starting to build our Novel Bible with Setting because it’s the hardest and most lacking in all novels except those like Dean Koontz.

The City: A Novel

If  Setting writing is one of your craft weaknesses, I strongly—STRONGLY—recommend Mary Buckman’s three books.

Writing Active Setting Book 1: Characterization and Sensory Detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Active Setting Book 2: Emotion, Conflict and Back Story

Writing Active Setting Book 3: Anchoring, Action, as a Character and More

Your Next Action:

Go to the Settings tab you created in Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 1:  Overview)

Add a page for every Setting you’ll have in the Novel, even if it’s a “real” place.

If it’s a Fantasy/whatever world, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the books by Deborah Teramis Christian

The Gazetteer Writer’s Manual: Creating Travel Guides to Fictional Worlds (World Building Series)

and

World Building Tips Volume 1

by Josephine Wall

Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 3: Next Action and Planning)

Now you have at least one writing notebook in OneNote. And the writing steps that you’ve been taking to write a novel. What now?

That  depends how you write.

If you’re a Pure Panster who has to write it, go write it and then come back here.

If you hate outlining, have no fear, this is planning, not outlining. Not yet. You can stop when the steps seem like outlining.

If you love outlining, hang on, we’ll get there.

But, right now we’re still planning.

If you’re like me (and most of you are) you forget where you left off the lat time you wrote–even if it was yesterday! We’re going to find out how we know where we stopped

AND where to start writing this time. No more wasting time reviewing and rereading before starting anew. More efficient! Faster!

Way 1:

If you never know when you’ll have a chance to write, you can at least know where you are and what needs to be done by using your Book Checklist Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 2: Checklist) as your Next Action list.

That’s an oxymoron! By definition, the Next Action is “the very next physical action you need to do to move the project forward.” It takes analyzing, thinking, sometimes an Eat-That-Frog mentality.

So, if you use your Book Checklist, you’ve basically have a To Do list, nothing more. But, you’ll  be more efficient and faster because you’ll know what you have already done and what still needs to be done.

 Way 2:

Put a tab (section) at top of your tabs and call it “Next Action.”

Add a page called, Next Time, whatever.

At the end of your current writing section, decide where you what to start next time, and any  notes to your forgetful Self.

But just ONE item! This is to get you started.

Way 3:

If you know when you’ll have writing time, Planning what to write and when to write it is really a motivator (especially if you have someone to account to like the About Writing Fiction Yahoo Group.

Below the new Next Time page, add a page This Week and /or Next Week.

While you’re at it, add This Month.

And even a page called, This year.

Take the information from ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 2) & ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 3).

Next post: Building your Novel Bible (Part One: Settings)

Landylachs

Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 2: Checklist)

One of the biggest hurdles to Planning is deciding What to do.

In ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 2), we talked about the longer planning: a 5-year plan, the 1-year plan, the 3-month plan, & the monthly plan.

In ORGANIZING THE WRITING CHAOS: Intentions (pt 3), we talked about the weekly plan & Daily Plan or Next Action.

Now we’re going to create content to put on those plans. 

But what content? That depends on how you write.

On your checklist are the things you need to do to write a book—any book.

Here’s my master checklist:

Brainstorm ideas about book in Journal page

Fill in Key facts page

Create a Logline

Decide Theme

Write symbols

Write motifs

Write blurb

Write pitch

Write query

Write synopsis

Write extended synopsis

Write Five page synopsis

Foreshadowing need for [ ].

List Setting and create at least one page for each

Do Worldbuilding: [ what needs to be done ].

Decide on Characters and list them by name, by group (protagonists, antagonists, minor characters)

Fill in character creation pages for [character name]

Do master plotting sheet for [Act/chapter/scene/character/whatever]

Write [Act/chapter/scene/character/whatever] (Enter word count in Excel checklist as write them)

Review Book Checklist as finish [repeat as needed]

Note: I had to add the checkmarks as pictures, but you can easily add them with OneNote.

 

But the specific book list is MUCH more detailed [there are To Do checklist boxes before each item].

8/19/2014

Fill Rodney’s tarot spread in on spreadsheet and Hiveword

Need Tarot spread for

Noelle – Science and spreadsheet and Hiveword

Levin – Zombie

Nathaniel

Sandra

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Finished listing All Act 2

PLOTTING ACT 1

Larm Blout, HTGN TVAct 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Alexandra Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Do Noelle’s Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Do Demont’s Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Princess Gisela Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

PLOTTING ACT 2

Larm Blout, HTGN TVAct 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Alexandra Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Do Noelle’s Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Do Demont’s Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Princess Gisela Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

PLOTTING ACT 3

Larm Blout, HTGN TVAct 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Alexandra Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Rena Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Rodney Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Elvira Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Demont’s Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Noelle’s Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Levin Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Princess Gisela Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

PLOTTING ACT 4

Larm Blout, HTGN TVAct 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Alexandra Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Rena Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Rodney Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Demont’s Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Noelle’s Act 5 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Levin Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Princess Gisela Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Main Plot All is Lost

Main Plot Dark Night of the Soul

Main Plot How to Structure a Killer Novel Ending

From <http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-structure-a-killer-novel-ending>

Act 3 and 4 needs to be done for

each minor character,

no change character

Antagonist

WRITING: Draft 1

Larm Blout, HTGN TV Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 1 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Larm Blout, HTGN TV Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 2 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Larm Blout, HTGN TV Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 3 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Larm Blout, HTGN TV Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Earl Emerson Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Beverly Walters Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Fawn De’vegas Act 4 Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet

Strengthen draft Alexandra Act 1 Theme Stated

Write Alexandra Act 1 Debate

Strengthen Rena Act 1 Theme Stated

Strengthen Rena Act 1 Debate

Strengthen Levin Act 1 Theme Stated

Levin Act 1 Catalyst (? Is it “out of order?”)

Levin Act 1 Debate

Rodney Act 1 Set-up

Rodney Act 1 Theme Stated

Rodney Act 1 Catalyst

Rodney Act 1 Debate

Elvira Act 1 Set-up

Elvira Act 1 Theme Stated

Elvira Act 1 Debate

Demont Act 1 Set-up

Demont Act 1 Theme Stated

Demont Act 1 Catalyst

Demont Act 1 Debate

Demont Act 2 Break Into Two

Demont Act 2 B Story

Demont Act 2 The Promise of the Premise

Back to Overview

Back to To-Do list [hyperlinked]

Your Next Action item is: Create YOUR Master Novel Writing Checklist!

Landylachs

Landylachs

Planning Your Writing in OneNote (Part 1: Overview)

Here starts your way to efficiently, even speedily, write your novel. Well, more efficiently & speedier. Each time you plan a novel with this system, the system will change–sometime minor–to better suit your Muse’s way of writing. Let it change–even if it’s a major one. You’ll develop your own version of organization.

Any organization is important because it allows folks and groups of folks to perform bunches of tasks more efficiently. Just check that task done &  move to  the next task.

Organization is important for dealing with research, too. By helping you find information and items faster, your novel writing organization allows you to work without wasting time. It’ll become more efficient. That means you’ll write faster.

But, by organizing your ideas & concepts–and writing them down–you find patterns. These patterns can become themes, deepen characters, show you what parts of settings and worldbuilding to describe, and most importantly, allows you to enhance your books’ conflict.

STEP BY STEP

Create a new notebook with the name of your novel or series

Create tabs (sections) for:

 

Next Action

Checklist

Writing Planning

Act 1

Act 2

Act 3

Act 4

Characters

Settings

Worldbuilding

Research

If you are writing a series, creating a multiverse, whatever, you might consider creating a notebook for any/all of these.

Doesn’t it feel better to know writing will be easier, well at least you’ll be able to find things!

Landylachs

Pomodoro Your Writing and Writing Tasks

We’ve all heard the excuses for not writing, not creating. Every new writer thinks s/he is the first to encounter it. Who knows, God may have procrastinated for eons before he finally got around to “Let there be Light.” Then, as typical for all endeavors, he was on a roll and wrapped up the project in just 6 days. Boy, was He bushed! He really earned that rest.

That’s the theory behind a time management system called the Pomodoro system after an Italian tomato-shaped kitchen timer.

 

Il_pomodoro

 

 

One pomodoro is traditionally 25 minutes, but can be any length. Then comes a short break, 5 minutes or whatever. Repeat. After 4 pomodori, take a longer break.

I’m one of those writers who MUST check her email & whatever before settling into writing tasks. I set the app on my phone for 1 pomodoro & don’t worry about getting lost in email trivia.

On the 5 minute rest after the email pomodoro, I think about (or look up) my writing task. [I’ve added exercise to my “rest,” treadmill, whatever.]

Then, at the ding: reset for 25 minutes & start writing.

The amazing thing I’ve noticed is that by 25  minutes, I’m starting to lose my Flow, my Focus anyway. So instead of plowing through and going completely off track, I have 5 minutes to reassemble my thoughts.

But, sometimes not. Sometimes the Flow is so strong—like now—that I hit the “snooze” button once or twice. Heck, sometimes I hit “dismiss” and keep on Flowing. After all, Pomodoro is supposed to help me start on tasks, not stop me when All is Well.

There’s the chime after 2 snoozes. I’ll take a break & reread this in later pomodoro.