Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Plot Your Story First

I am such a plotser (combination plotter and pantser).  I might or might not write my plot down, but I know most of the key points in my story before I get too far into it.  Let's face it, though I feel it steals some of my creativity, I would do myself a lot better if I could plot everything up front.  So, here are my top ten reasons to plot.

10.  Teacher told you to.  (As an educator, I fully endorse this reason)
9.    Fashion is so unreliable, you never know if you are wearing the current en vogue pants to write in today.
8.    You get to use all those colorful post-it notes, cards, timelines, and you get to make collages.
7.    You don't want to be a Moses--wandering around for forty years on the same project.
6.    All the cool writers are doing it.  (As an educator, I can't endorse this reason really)
5.    When someone asks, "What's your story about?", you might actually know.
4.    People take you more seriously as a writer (Bwahaha, excuse the snorting and laughing coming from myself).
3.    Plot holes big enough to walk through are avoided (Now they're only big enough to get your upper body through).
2.    The writing thing is too easy if you don't add something exciting and complicated to it.
1.    I need one more thing to distract me from writing.

Happy Writing!

Cherie Marks
Into the Fire available October 5, 2011


Jennifer Jakes said...

Number 7 tickled my funny bone:)
And as a pantser, I can SO relate to trying to train myself to plot.
Great post!

Calisa Rhose said...

As a procrastinating pantster-occasional plotster- I fully endorse # eight and # one! Fun list Cherie!

Amy said...

HAHA!! Too funny! But totally serious, too!

Lynne Marshall said...

LOL Cherie re: list. I especially liked #7. I think I know a few authors stuck at #7.

I call myself an inbetweener, but I do like those colorful post its and occasionally I make a collage. I fully endorse whatever you do or do not endorse as an educator, because it sounds so official. :) fun blog.

Lilly Gayle said...

Love this post. And just call me Moses. lol! I too am a ploster who needs to reform. My problem isn't plot holes. It's too many subplots. So many, in fact that I sometimes loose focus on the main plot. And all those subplots must be resolved. In my current WIP I am at this very moment (okay, when I'm not playing around on the internet) I am killing off unneeded characters and getting rid of at least two subplots. Maybe now, I'll be able to remember the real plot of my story.
Fingers crossed!

Unknown said...

Cherie, this was great fun. I sent links out Twitter and Facebook. I am plotser by nature too, more a pantzer when it's going well. Plotting too much up front takes much of the fun out of the writing process for me.

I like to be surprised and would rather fix plot holes than try to persuade my characters to follow an outline. Though there certainly have been books where by Chapter 16 I have to make a detailed chapter outline with plot points so I can keep details straight.

However, I thought your reasons for plotting were great, especially 1, 3, and 5. I also enjoyed your spelling of an evil laugh--Bwahaha--love this. It sounds like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

Unknown said...

Love #7. Ahh, how many times have I wandered and still, I cannot plot.

Roni said...

Loved #1 !

Barbara Bettis said...

How cute, Cherie! I especially like 1, 5, and 7.
I don't do formal plotting, but I do know the story in general, certain points along the way and the end--of course :)


P.L. Parker said...

LOL - great post - more of a pantser than a plotter although I do know where I want my story to go before I get started putting it down on paper (or computer page)!

JM said...

Ok, this was funny. You know, I try to plot, I really do and I definitely see the advantages of it, but it seems like such a waste of time for me. I'm sure for other people, it works great. So, number 5 was the one that got me giggling, because my answer would have to change almost daily!
Great post!

Claire Dalton said...

What a great list. Number 1 does it for me. I'm trying to become a plotster so I may print it out and pin it somewhere to remind me!

Kellie Kamryn said...

These are funny Cherie! Sorry I'm a day late in visiting :)

Susan Macatee said...

#7 as well as #3, 2 and 1 work for me. I definitely need to plot in advance with a full-length novel, but do resort to pantsing a bit with noellas and short stories. I do have at least a capsule plot, though, even with the shortest shorts. lol

Teresa Reasor said...

Loved the blog!!!
Number 3 and number 7 are my favorites. Lord help me I had flash backs.
Teresa R.

Anonymous said...

I am such a panster, I'll print your list and post it by my computer. Bianca Swan

Cherie Marks said...

Busy week! I'm so glad you all liked my list. Hope it brought a smile to your face, especially if you've had a week like mine.