You know the feeling. For months the priority on your to-do list has been needing to start plotting your new book asap. And also for months nothing actually happened.Then suddenly it’s 2019 and you realise that if you want to start writing the 1st draft in April, there’s only three months left to plan, plot and outline!
Of course, I’m kicking myself for letting things come to this, but that can’t be helped now. I need to get on with it. Pronto. So today I’ve officially started plotting Book 3.
I count myself very lucky that five years ago I spent three years(!) working out my complete detective series, laying a very firm foundation for each of the nine planned books.
I plotted the two major through storylines, not in detail, but with just enough bullet points to know what would happen in each book.
The character development is also plotted out in the broadest sense and together with the through storylines, my series already stands like a house. The only things I need to do when plotting each individual book is adding a murder and a solution, and for the rats a separate adventure that becomes intertwined with the human storyline.
The foundation that I set up before is now an absolute lifesaver, as today I already know in the broadest sense what is going to happen in Book 3. I have a setting, a Cat Show, and two returning antagonists. Now it’s time to add new characters and plot a murder or two.
But I can’t do everything in one go. However close my writing date is coming, I need to take a step back and start plotting first. Without plotting, no story, at least not one that flows as it should.
Luckily, the Fiction Builder method that Eva and I developed has stood the test of time and it’s a repeatable and above all practical method for plotting a new book.
I couldn’t do without it any more.
Normally I would first spend a month or two thinking about plots and murder possibilities, but that time has passed. I’ve now started working out a plot and setting up a Blueprint at the same time. Not something that we recommend doing. It’s definitely not for the fainthearted, but it works for now.
Tomorrow I will continue filling out the Blueprint grid, but only with bullet points per act. No point yet in added chapters and scenes. What today’s exercise at least has done is triggering my imagination and creativity and that’s further than I have come in the last two months. Book 3 is on the way!