My religion has changed a little.
I used to be a devout Plotter. My love for working out what would happen chapter by chapter happened with my second novel, Drama Queens and Adult Themes. Two worlds are described in that story and characters from one realm, the Afterlife, interfere with the lives of an unsuspecting middle aged couple and a potential toy boy (or boy toy as some of you say).
While the mortals in the story have no idea what’s happening in the fantasy world, I still had to make sure each chapter of the book moved the story forward. Plus, the tale was told by four characters, so plotting was extremely important. I didn’t want to annoy readers with a disjointed narrative.
From here I learnt to let my imagination fly.
With that book and the others that followed, I could allow anything to happen in each chapter, as long as what I plotted, happened. As many of my stories have fantasy elements, I could still daydream wildly as long as I kept true to the tale’s path.
The other advantage of plotting is that you can hint at things that relate to future chapters. This gives the book more coherency.
I’m straying further off course, but still staying true to the tale.
In my current work in progress, Winter Masquerade, I’m finding my chapter outline is more of a suggestion than a blueprint. I’ve strayed, though not entirely.
Sometimes I change the characters in a chapter because I trust my instincts more. I think it’s a sign that I’m getting better at the craft. I’ve brought another chapter forward as it has more drama, which means when I get to where that chapter was originally, I’ll challenge myself to raise the stakes higher. The reader will benefit if I pull this off!
I also have a list of things to develop for the second draft.
This is not unusual for me, but I feel I have a clearer picture of the fix-ups before this story’s first self-edit. One is that two characters speak similarly. Another is to play with World Building more. These are things I only used to see on my first draft read through.
However, as always, my ending will not change, unless…
I’m enjoying this hybrid way of writing and I really can’t wait to see where it takes the characters as they prepare for the Winter Masquerade.
IMAGES Courtesy of Pixabay
Steampunk Mask by Annca. Girl in Mask by Dark Souls 1