Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Look! It’s Friday!


And a week since I last posted. I said that I was looking forward to getting the scalpel out and applying it to the first draft, but actually the process has been quite painful. I have excised chunks of back story that no longer seem relevant, and have said farewell to parts that, although I think are well-written, no longer serve the story. I may find a way to weave them back in, but only if they play a clear role. However, this process of making space opens up new realms, so new ideas are coming, some of which I hope will strengthen the story.

This week, I have been working on my plot planner, with each scene inscribed on a different colour Post-It; green for character development, pink for plot development, yellow for thematic significance and orange for political/social relevance. It’s colourful, but it’s taking a looong time and makes me feel very critical of what I have already written. I’m facing up to the gaps and that’s not comfortable.

I would like to put it on the record now that the next time I write a novel, I will plot it first. Starting with the characters and weaving a story around them has turned this into a moveable feast that is still changing. I like where it’s got to, but the quantum leap from where I started to where I am now has to be seen to be believed.

Also on the record: I will finish this plotting process before I leave for Greece (family wedding on Crete – how lucky am I?) next Friday, so that when I return I can start rewriting. I am getting excited for word and paragraph level, ready to leave the macro and dive down into the miniscule. By the time I go, I need my architect’s plan in place so that I can start brick-building. I’m looking forward to that!


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

6 thoughts on “Look! It’s Friday!

  1. I dunno, you probably got some good inspiration just writing without a plot. It takes longer, but what’s the rush? And anyway, you don’t have time to crank out books because you’re too busy traveling the world going to weddings and family gatherings in topical paradise. Have fun!

  2. How amazing to be able look at your work and see how it has evolved and each character has emerged! I wish you every success for the work you have planned for next week.

  3. I’m sure it’s an arduous process but it sounds intriguing all the same. Post-It notes are a god-send for the organizational beast within writers. Good luck! And have a fabulous time in Crete, I was there for a wedding two summers ago and it is one of my favorite places in the world.

  4. The post-its sound very organized. I wouldn’t worry too much about plotting in advance. If that works for you great. But I have tried plotting in advance and not had it improve the process any. In fact the book derailed and I had to put it aside (which might have happened anyway). Every book has its own process. I’m on my 4th now and each one has been a different type of challenge.

  5. Plotting is something that seems to evolve with my writing too – am trying to get down to serious scalpel work on my own very dusty draft at the moment – God but it takes serious motivation.

  6. How do you get to have family weddings in all the best places?? Any vacancies to join your family? 😉

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