Hi all, Lynette Eason here. Over on the Faith Hope and Love loop, we’ve been talking about Plotting. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Which way is best? Is there a right way to plot a book? All good questions. Some of the answers have been very interesting. I don’t know why, but I’m just always curious about how other writers plot. I’m basically a pantser, letting the story take my characters where it will. (I like to call it intuitive writing, but whatever. I write by the seat of my pants basically…LOL.) However, because one of my editors requires a rather in depth synopsis, I’ve learned to plot the story out well enough to come up with a reasonably well-written synopsis. Not my favorite thing, I’ll admit, but if I want to sell books…well, gotta do it.
This has actually turned out to be a pretty good thing. I’ve developed an excel worksheet where I keep all of my information. My characters names, some background info and a physical description. I also can break down each chapter into scenes and whose point of view that scene is in. And the biggie. The timeline. Without that, I’m lost. If I don’t have my timeline, I end up with 46 hour days and my characters never sleep or eat. LOL.
So, I said all that to say, learning to plot has turned out to be very beneficial for me. (Not just because I need to have a plot in my stories—the editors and readers seem to appreciate that.) But also because the weekend of October 23-24, I’m teaching at the Carolina Christian Writers workshop in Anderson, SC on this topic. Plotting with Excel. It should be a great time and if you’re in the area, it’s very reasonably priced and the content is amazing for such a short period of time. A couple of other staffers are Yvonne Lehman, Les Stobbe, Linda Gilden, Director of the CLASS conference (which is going to be in New Mexico November 4-8 if anyone is interested – another amazing lineup of staff with agents and editors galore.) In NM, Terri Blackstock is teaching suspense, Nancy Moser is teaching the fiction track, Diann Mills is doing the Advanced Mentoring Workshop and there’s quite a bit of non-fiction stuff too. Check out the website and see what you think. I was supposed to teach at that one, too, but alas, no childcare. My husband will be gone that week and my parents (i.e. babysitters) will be on a cruise. I know, I couldn’t believe the nerve of them either. So, not this year. I’m sorely disappointed, but will get over it eventually. I hope. I still think it’s going to be a great event and want to give it a plug here.
I don’t have a website for the conference in Anderson, but if you want information on it, I can forward the packet to you. It’s all electronic.
So, plotting or pantsing? What works best for you? And how many conferences do you try to get to each year?
Hope I didn’t try to cram too much into one post. Plotting and conferences and overload, oh my!