It's the first week of the month . . . that means it's time for World of Writing (WOW) week at Girls Write Out! Stay tuned this week for some fun insight into novel writing!
Last week we (Colleen, Kristin, and I) brainstormed Smitten 2 with our editors at a cabin in the woods. (Here we are signing the contract.)
We came up with the main plot for Smitten then we plotted our individual stories. How does a writer begin to plot a story? There are several jumping-off points a writer might use:
1. Setting Setting is always critical, but some authors like to start here and build out. Once you determine setting, you can choose an occupation that's suitable for the town or determine who or what the story is about. Colleen's Lone Star series is an example. Everyone loves a Texas setting!
2. Character No story will go far without memorable characters. When you start here, you let the character's personality determine the direction of the plot. Kristin's Ashley Stockingdale series is a great example. Ashley is just quirky and spunky enough to carry a whole series.
3. Hook This is the "something" about the plot that makes a shopper slip the book into their cart. If you read a one-sentence blurb about a book, the hook is usually in that sentence. Diann's recent release Love Letters in the Sand is a great example. What happens when old flames are reunited by circumstances but separated by secrets? (I'll tell you what happens, you end up staying up way to late to find out!)
4. Occupation All protagonists need one, but in some stories, the occupation is critical to the storyline. Silent Pledge by Hannah Alexander is an example. This story (and many other books by Cheryl) centers around a female physician. When you're married to a doctor, this is a great way to go!
5. Opening Scene Some authors come up with an intriguing opening scene then figure out who the characters are and how they got there. In The Convenient Groom I envisioned a bride being left at the altar and a groom who steps in to save the day. Under what circumstances could that be plausible? Finding out was half the fun. :)
Which of these jumping off points intrigue you most often--as a reader or as a writer?
Labels: writing, writing tools