Friday, October 29

We have no plot here...

Getting your plot back on track.

When I first got this assignment, I thought …well, I thought crap.

Crap, crap, crap.


Because I’m bad at plotting. Not just bad, but atrocious, horrifying, ghastly and even appalling.

My first attempt at writing a romance novel started with three brothers in France. Why were they in France…..uhm. Because it was their mom’s birthday. Oh, so she’s French? No, she’s from Texas. I see……then why is she having a birthday party in France? Because……

And so it went.

My second went a bit better. She owns a cyber café in Arizona, she moved there after her divorce and she’s starting her life over! I thought I had it nailed. Until someone said ok, then what? Um….she meets a man? Really….who? A doctor. Really…where? Umm….

You’re getting the picture right?

So I’m rreaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally good at getting a plot off track, or frankly not even getting self same plot out of the train depot.

And then I took a class, with Laurie Schnebly. Plotting via motivation. Oh dear, she had handouts! She had fill in the blanks! She made us do an OUTLINE!!! Are you freaking kidding me????? How am I supposed to know what happens next???

And she told me how. And she made me walk through it. And I wrote out a fourteen chapter outline.

And I didn’t die. And I could still pants. And life was good.

Not to say I don’t still wander off the plot and find my characters walking around in Holland looking for a new pair of shoes. How did that happen? No clue. But now I know I can run with it a bit, see if I need to tweak the outline or undo the story line.

At least I have some place to turn when the plot twists on me.

Thanks again, Laurie Schnebly. Your class made a plot believer out of me!




  1. Hmm? Plotting - I should try it. I'm a pantser by nature. Was Laurie Schnebly's course on-line?

  2. Good post and I have the same question as Em-Musing, where can I sign up for Schebly's course.

  3. Funny, Carrie! You and I definitely think alike. I plot ... but only a little. And usually I do veer off-course at least once and have to reign myself back in.

    Em and Margie, here's a link to Laurie's website:

  4. Okay, just reading this is causing a shortness of breath...I'm envisioning plot bunnies running helter skelter and now I'm going back to the drawing board to give my three brothers in France, who are actually from Dallas, a reason to be in France. Do I have to give them a reason to be from Dallas too?

  5. EEK!
    A defector! From pantser to plotter.
    I admire you, but I like freewheeling-not-knowing-where-I'm-going!

  6. guys can find laurie schnebly online, and yes she has a new class in February I believe. and I consider it outlining....but boy does it make it a lot easier!

  7. Just the thought of plotting gives me a headache. I like just writing and see where I end up. If I plotted the whole book, I'd get bored and sick if the story before it was done.

  8. Oh, Carrie, I just heard you were talking about me over here -- gosh, what a GREAT description of your process!

    I always think of you as the poster-child for pantsers who don't have to give up their way of working, and it's wonderful to know you're still enjoying that creative freedom.

    Laurie, dying to know more about the French birthday party... :)