Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Climbing The Story Mountain

All stories require a tiny bit of plotting at some stage. It may be as simple as adjusting/rewriting the genius of chapter 3 after a fabulous idea strikes when writing chapter 15. It might even (as I like to do as I write) be as simple as sketching out the next chapter before you write it. 

Want a simple way to plan out your fabulous WIP without the drama? Here is a simple little plotting guide to help climb that story mountain:


What do you think?

Any plotters want to share some tips? Any of my fellow plantsers (plotter & pantser) want to share some handy hints?  

6 comments:

  1. Love the story mountain!!! Such a great visual. And speaking of visuals, storyboarding helps me sometimes, especially when I'm stuck. I'm not talking da Vinci-level art. I'm talking stick figures on post-It notes. But storyboarding helps me establish the point of view of a scene and the action.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great breakdown, with a lovely metaphor alongside! I personally struggle with this a little in my novel, because the external plot/conflict feels like it takes too long to develop, and the internal plot/conflict feels like it may not be obvious enough.

    It's currently out with CPs, so I'm hoping they can help.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the story mountain :) I'm definitely a plantser. Sometimes I start a story knowing the ending and a couple things in the middle, and I just go and figure out how I'm supposed to get there. Last time I did this my one book turned into two ;p. Sometimes I know the beginning and the problem and some of the stuff in between, but I have NO IDEA how it's going to end. I just have to write and let my characters figure things out for themselves.

    I think having an outline (once you're sure of what's going to happen) is very helpful. And not necessarily super specific, but a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what happens. I usually make these after I've finished my first draft, so I can add things in I thought of along the way and rearrange events if I need to. It's proved to be very successful for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The story mountain is great! It keeps us grounded and reminds us where to go next.

    Wish I had advice, but the mountain is better than anything I could add.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this simple chart. Tempts me to use those words in my outline. Not like anyone will ever know if I start with "Once upon a time" and transition with "Unfortunately." ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I definitely think more writers need to use something like this. Teachers use this "mountain" format in schools to plot stories with their students and identify the parts of a story. I think it has really helped me as a writer that I've been forced to identify parts plot like this for countless stories with my middle schoolers. (My crit group says I regularly have a solid plot skeleton... though I struggle with other things like POV)

    I've seen quite a few works-in-progress that were lacking in the plot dept. This would be a helpful tip. Maybe even try plotting some of your favorite books using this mountain tool. And then that would help you see how published authors plot their books successfully.

    ReplyDelete

Add your awesome here: