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Looking for Plotting Template

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I find that these guidelines are very helpful after you've finished the first draft.  Because then you can take a step back and see whether things are logical, whether you need to rearrange some events, etc.
Skarecrow, you might want to check out The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler.  It's an excellent book with examples about the elements of good storytelling.
Vijaya
#31 - October 02, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Thanks, V:  I will do that today.....sounds good...I just finished Richard Peck's book on writing for YA....I don't remember the title but it was excellent.....

Skarecrow
#32 - October 02, 2006, 09:33 AM
"Make no mistake about it...a true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life."  Tobias Wolfe.

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I’d been trying to come up with some sort of plan or list  my MC could find, or hear about, so she could adapt it and use it to plot out how she could get her idea to work. And seeing as the story runs from December to September, I got the Eureka   feeling when I saw this 9 step plan.
Because I’d need to see for myself how it worked – before my MC could adapt it – I decided to use it for my novel. The only plot plan I had at that point was dozens of scraps of paper with scribbled notes on; I call it the jigsaw method of plotting.

Anyway, I drew out and headed my 9 boxes and, without looking too closely at how and where the numbered boxes should link, wrote a few lines in each box. I was amazed when I checked out which box should connect to which to see how it  matched up and to spot a place where it seemed what I’d written should be in a different place. 

And, you know? Moving that bit to that different place gave me another Eureka moment.
So, Lydap, many thanks for posting.     

Best
Pat in UK
#33 - October 04, 2006, 04:34 AM

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What a great thread! There's also an article in the Nov./Dec. issue of Writer's Digest Magazine on p. 46 called "All Mapped Out." The article provides a template for mapping out your novel. I haven't tried it, yet, however.

I like the idea, too, of mapping out your novel once the first draft is finished--it'd be a good way to catch what's missing.

Good luck!  :clover

:) Natalie
#34 - October 04, 2006, 05:21 AM
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lydap

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UKPat: Glad it helped! I had the same experience when I put all my "finished" but imperfect drafts into the grid. I found out why one of them is totally not working, because it just would not fit. That gave me a lot to think about.

ANd all the other suggestions on this thread have given me a lot of good reading to do.

Thanks everyone.
#35 - October 04, 2006, 05:52 AM

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i second Vijaya's rec. of The Writer's Journey.  PLUS - it's a GREAT excuse to rent the movies mentioned in it and used as examples of the hero's Journey   ;D
#36 - October 04, 2006, 06:27 AM

Yes, I just finished THE WRITER'S JOURNEY by Vogel, and I really enjoyed it....gave me a lot of good insight into how to heighten everything in my WIP...I am sure happy I didnt rush and send it out....much better now that I am revising using the Journey as some type of map....

Thanks, V....
#37 - October 14, 2006, 01:07 PM
"Make no mistake about it...a true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life."  Tobias Wolfe.

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Lydap -- I just used this and was pleasantly surprised now neatly things fit into the boxes.  I will absolutely use this in my future novels.  And what a wonderful way to even begin ... just on a single page.
Skarecrow, thanks for starting this thread.  My creativity flows better when I'm organized ... and I like discovering little gems for my writing toolbox.
Vijaya
#38 - October 16, 2006, 10:14 PM
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Thank You lydap !  I'm amazed at how much a word/phrase can put the process and result of something into perspective and make sense.
'Triggering Event'  in your post abt the 9 Steps did that for me this week.  It made me realize that chapter 1 of my novel was really me trying to follow the advice of 'capture the reader'
and Triggereing Event -captures the main character-  So,  I went back and wrote a new/better 1st chapter that sets up everything better, and I can keep/move the old chapter 1  :)
And the phrase also reminded me of when I went on a ski wekend and I didn't do too well in the 'bunny hill' classes.  'lean forward, lean back, point your skis.....'  = too much to keep track of. Until we went to a different place and the instructor said "Glide"   Well, after that my body could figure out how to glide and it was much more fun.

Looking forward to filling in the 9 boxes.    :writing3:
#39 - October 20, 2006, 02:43 PM

lydap

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I'm so glad the 9 box grid has been as big a help to you guys as it was to me. I have actually been using the snowflake thing on my WIP and it's been fabulous. I hate synopses with a passion because I've always written them WAY after the fact and they're just impossible.The snowflake thing you build your outline up step by step and suddenly, it's a synopsis. Wow!  8)
#40 - October 20, 2006, 05:17 PM

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Yes, lydap, you are the bomb!
#41 - October 20, 2006, 07:52 PM
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I have to say, Lydap, if that was the kind of thing they taught in mfa programs, those of us who gradauted from them would be better writers. I'm at the start of a new project, and it's interesting to view it through your nine-step lens. Thanks for posting!
#42 - October 21, 2006, 06:09 AM

lydap

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Audiate, I've wondered about that re: writing programs. I took every undergrad writing class my school offered and learned literally nothing about dramatic structure, character development, myth, archetypes, narrative technigues. Nothing. I finally started getting this when I took a screenwriting class and suddenly everything I'd struggled with for most of my life as a fiction writer started to clear. At first I resisted it, thinking it was formulaic. And then I realized it was simply liberating. Exactly like "Glide," Liz. 
#43 - October 21, 2006, 06:56 AM

Aud

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Believe it or not, there's an Aud and and Audiate on this board. I'm Aud.

For me, graduate school didn't teach a lot of the things you listed below. It was a time to immerse myself in the writing life. I learned quite a bit about craft, but for the most part, the learning came from writing and learning to respond to writing intelligently.

#44 - October 21, 2006, 08:45 AM

eryan75

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Wow...this is exactly what I was looking for.  I've never tackled MG, but teach the grade level and only use novels.  I've thought it might be cool to write a book that the kids in my class would like - they sure do give enough feedback...but didn't know how to approach it.  You've helped tremendously - thanks.

~Erin
 :writing3:
#45 - November 21, 2006, 11:01 AM

ladyeclectic

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I know this is an older thread but I just wanted to say I really love the 9-step plotting method, and am using it for my current WIP. I also told several others about it and they seem equally impressed. Great idea!!  :applause
#46 - September 20, 2008, 12:05 PM

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I also LOVE this thing. I have used it - and whoever said it works best after a first draft was right - it really zeroes things in.
#47 - September 21, 2008, 09:48 AM
Christine Norris

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Susan Brocker

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Thanks Vijaya for the link to Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method; interesting and helpful.
#48 - January 14, 2012, 08:39 PM

Woods

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 :nothing
#49 - January 29, 2012, 05:29 PM

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