The word "plot," for anyone who hasn’t noticed, is a four-letter word. That’s more or less how I feel about it. Writers who are more analytical thrive as they work out the plot before writing their books. But I am an instinctive writer. I create from my gut. I write to discover what will happen next just as my readers read to discover what will happen next. I don’t know what will happen in chapter ten until I have actually written chapter nine.
I keep what is called a "rolling plot" notebook. Basically, I journal before beginning to write for that day, determining, based on what I wrote yesterday, what needs to be accomplished next. Sometimes, of course, I write down what needs to happen in the future. I have a separate 8.5" x 5.5" spiral notebook for each book.
While plotting causes me to break out in hives (kidding, it isn’t that bad), I love to brainstorm. To me that is something different. I love getting the ideas flowing. Any idea. All ideas. Never saying, "No, that won’t work," but saying, "Why would that work?" or "How could that work?" Once or twice a year, I get together with other Christian authors to brainstorm books. I get as much out of brainstorming their books as I do out of brainstorming my own. Personally, I am after both a big picture view of my story as well as possible individual scenes.
I’ve had to brainstorm many projects on my own as I can’t always fly off to meet with other writers. But now, thanks to James Scott Bell, I have actually found some software that will work for me. I’ve tried other writing software programs through the years, and they’ve gone unused because they are more for plotting than anything else.
Enter Inspiration 8. I purchased the software a month or two ago and didn’t have much time to play with it. Plus, I opened a template and froze when I saw the word "plot." Ack! But while in Denver, Jim gave a demonstration of how this software works. Eureka!! The light bulbs went on in my head. So yesterday, I sat down and began to use it for my current W-I-P. Awesome stuff.
I would say more, but I’ve got to finish getting ready for church. May your Sunday be blessed.