Plotting the Next Book…

Evenings Tide of Light ...Orlando, Florida
Evenings Tide of Light ...Orlando, Florida

Best not to sit idle and play the waiting game, write another book while trying to sell the first one. So, I’ve been on the road for the last week and will be on the road until October 9th… Today near Orlando at the Omni Resort about 10 miles west of Disneyworld. On my bed during the day I’ve taken to spreading out the plot of the next book. Large sheets of paper represent scenes/chapters and those little sheets of paper the sub-plot points. I can see the flow of each scene visually this way and don’t have to scroll up and down on the screen to “feel the flow” of the plan.


I have figured out the story. I can explain that in a few minutes and have it written down. However that isn’t a scene by scene decision of exactly what happens and in what order. And what is interesting about this part of the process is that it is one of the most difficult parts of the working toward another book. Why is that? What is hard about this? Writing a scene is kind of an answer to a problem. Deciding what problems to solve requires the author to access another entirely different part of your brain. The part that dreams and writes and flows is one part, and the part the plans and plots is an entirely different part. I can feel this and so I’ve taken to this method. Little sheets of paper with a scene written down on it. I include the action to take place, the time line, and the emotion I want the reader to feel, then I’ll hang on these sheets lots of post it notes of various specific details that are part of the story…

Orlando09 041


So, here I have a few pages written that tell the story. The outline of each scene and its sequence is happening now. Character sketches are being drawn up of each of the main characters. I write about what they look like, where they came from, what age and education and work they do. And keep it relatively compact, about one page.


All of this material once complete allows me to aim from the start toward the finish and knowing what and where everyone and everything is going, its why sometimes we feel the book is already written before we ever write it… But, once again surprise of surprises, when you actually get down into the detail and fabric of a characters situation we often discover fine details and the story takes us in its own direction, the circumstances dictate their own truth, and while we aim in one direction we can be hijacked and pulled into another…


And the photographs of clouds? At sunset in Florida? This is where I cast my eyes while walking and pondering the days plotting and imagining all kinds of possible twists and turns. Those illuminations in the clouds of sunlight’s golden twilight energize me, remind me of the spirit of the thing… that in these wisps of vapor are grand visions, if only you will look and see.


Hurricane Season Twilight...
Hurricane Season Twilight...



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