Jun 28, 2010

Plotting to the End

~By C.K. Bryant

A few days ago I started a new book. Crazy, I know. I have two books finished (both in the same series), the first of which is being queried to agents, and I have two other books that are about 1/2 way finished. What the heck was I thinking?

It's been a long while since I started a new book and I found myself excited and scared all at once. I opened a blank page on my computer and typed about four pages, feeling pretty good about what I'd written. I LOVE the voice of my new character, a sixteen year old girl who loves to laugh. But as I got to the bottom of page four, I stopped. I couldn't go any further because I realized I didn't know how the story ended.

Yep, that's right. I can't write a book without knowing how it ends. I just can't do it. I've heard so many of my writing friends talk about how they just start writing and let the story guide them, having no idea what comes next. I've also heard others who do a complete outline and have all the details hammered out before they even begin to write the actual novel. It's hard to believe that there are so many different ways of doing it--almost as many ways as there are writers.

So, first of all . . . I'm curious how you write. Do you just go headstrong from the get go, or are you meticulous about an outline and the details?

Second, I'd like to share the video and power point presentation given by Dan Wells at LTUE. It's the closest I've come to finding someone teach the way I write. I love the presentation, so if you can find the time, please check it out. Click HERE to go to the website.


  1. You have to do what works for you. I have to know the ending. The middle is usually a bit nebulous. I do some brainstorming and have a vague outline, mostly in my head, before I start writing. I thought Dan's presentation was terrific, though I'm not quite that structured myself.

  2. I agree that you have to find out what works best for you. Everyone will be different, according to how they think and process.

    As an intuitive writer, I know the beginning and I know the ending. I have no idea how the characters will get there, but I trust them to show me and to work it out. If I take a wrong turn along the way, I have a 'sense' of it before I go very far in the wrong direction-- and I usually know where it was I went astray.

    I suppose I could structure my story more, but then I would miss out on discovering the twists and turns that inevitably seem to write themselves into the plot--and which usually, delightfully, surprise even me.

  3. I am a STORYFIXER.

    (Storyfix.com by Larry Brooks)

    It gives me the points and structure I need without taking away that seat of the pants feeling I love. Dan Wells does something similar. I love Storyfix tho. For me it's the most amazing and eye opening style of plotting I have found.