Thursday, October 8

New Chapter-itis

Does anyone else ever get this? You get stuck trying to begin the next chapter? You know where the book is going, but the rudder seems to be stuck?

Maybe it's because I'm a pantser and not a plotter. I mean I have a rough idea about my plot and where the book is going but sometimes just not sure how to get there. I started my current work-in-progress with the voice of a really great character, but no real plot. Two chapters in and I still didn't have a plot. Half way through chapter three, I hatched a plotline, or at least an idea for a plot line.

And then last weekI ended chapter three with, "Your father is an assassin." Sure, it's a great hook. Who's not going to turn the page to find out how chapter four turns out? But, the problem I have is what comes next? Immediately next. Your father is an assassin. Then what?

So, this week I've spent some time brainstorming and figuring it out. New chapter-itis. Nothing much gets done on the chapter, but a lot of figuring out. I think I've come up with the book's ending. I've come up with a couple of cool sub-plots. And I think I finally have the beginning of chapter four...

"If my father's an assassin, where's be been every time I've gotten stuffed into a locker?" If you're going to have a father who kills people shouldn't you get a pass on peer abuse?

Now that my rudder seems to be unstuck, we'll see if its smooth sailing ahead.


  1. I think this is a curse of being a panster, Margie. It happens to me all the time. Great hook, then...nothing. Nada.
    I love your chap 3 hook, btw.
    Coudln't stop grinning.

  2. I'm somewhere in between, Margie. I usually have something of an outline but it's loose enough that I can change or grow without breaking into a cold sweat.

  3. I usually know the end and some things I want to happen in between, and then plot out 5 chapters ahead at a time. Just small stuff like, Shrill Gull returns. Basically just cliff notes to remind me what I need to happen.
    And I think now that I have a plot and an end in sight, I'm hoping it will go a little bit easier. Kind of like how the tv show Lost got better after they knew when their end game was coming. They got a clear compass of what had to happen.

  4. I get stuck at the beginning of EVERY chapter after chapter 4. When I start a mss, I know the beginning and the end. The begining of my chapters are rewritten at least twice. I know what I want to happen in the chapter, but getting there is a real pain.