2 Comments

Alphabet Blogging: J is for…

Jigsaw puzzle.In other words…story plot.1097826_94239153

(Stretching a bit there, maybe? I couldn’t come up with anything else for J.)

But, whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, sometimes story plots really do feel like jigsaw puzzles. Those really, really big, 1,500 piece ones. And to make matters worse, it’s of an abstract painting.

And your job is to assemble it in such a way that it looks like a seamless, gorgeous piece of art.tumblr_mlhqmrMKt71s5kkwjo1_250

I’m currently going through this whole jigsaw-puzzle thing with my urban fantasy series that I thought I had the plot for. But research that I’m doing (rather belatedly) has given me all sorts of new ideas. Thankfully the first book doesn’t really need much updating to add in all these new ideas, as a lot of the stuff introduced in the later books will be new to almost all the characters.

Now I just have to figure out how it all ties together.

Part of the reason I’ve stalled on it a little is because I’ve never had to do this with a series before. All of the books I’ve written since I started writing seriously have been stand-alones. Sometimes those standalones tied into other novels, but for the most part it was the one novel, done, move on to the next plot and set of characters. In the Underworld Mythos, I have all these over-arching plot threads that need to be tied together, foreshadowing that needs to be done in order to make later things make sense, and all sorts of tangles and snarls that need working out.

My approach thus far has been to sort out all my notes from the series into their separate books. I think next, I will plot out each book, writing each plot point on 3×5 note cards. Then I’ll probably spend several days sitting on my office floor, surrounded by notecards, re-arranging and throwing away. I’m sure I’ll end up tweaking each book as I get around to writing it, but at least I’ll have an idea of where everything goes.

How do you go about plotting your books and tying everything together?

 

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About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

2 comments on “Alphabet Blogging: J is for…

  1. Goodness, darlin’, if I knew that, I’d have another book written.

    I have started jotting down the individual story lines of each character within the book’s time frame. Not to put them in the book, but to flesh out those characters and provide context for what the main characters will experience. I also write stand alone books, but they happen in the same world, so a minor character in one story may be a major character in another. That backstory may become important somewhere down the line.

    I would strongly encourage you to begin at the beginning. I wish I hadn’t started “in the middle” because it locks my choices in place as to what happened before and what happens after.

  2. Oh my word or words….running to get a bottle of wine 😉 wow that is truly a lot of work. A lot of love and dedication. I have a character and bits in my mind. I am gathering art work of worlds, names, ideas and that’s just for one story! Much less like you ladies with all your professional skills.
    I am just new to writing a story with someone. I have been writing, just not stories all my life. Writing music, poetry prose etc required so much less and this is an undertaking of a major proportion for me. I find being a visual person, I need to collect images, and artists renderings of worlds and cities that fit into the framework I am hoping for. I find that the visuals prompt my imagination. And I am trying to collect them into one place in some kind of, as you so astutely put it, “jigsaw” puzzle. I just don’t have as many ideas yet to have it as complicated as yours. Little by little i will get there. And all of you are inspiring me and helping me in some way. I think your method of Jigsaw is interesting. I hadn’t realized I was in essence doing the same thing.
    Best wishes on your project.
    And let me know if you need a glass of wine while you are doing it!
    Shalom yisraela

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