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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Writing Process: Plot!!

Plot, plot, plot! Plotter or pantser, what are you?

I've always been a bit of both! I like to have the sense of where I want the characters to start, where I want them to wind up and the overall picture of what I want to have happen to them along the way. But all those little details, the details that keep things moving as the story goes, much of that occurs on the fly from either daydreams, dreams at night, or just interesting ideas from real life events that generate ideas for scenes in the book.

What do I outline? When do I outline? I almost never do. I'll take notes on nit-picky details on the characters and the plot on matters such as shoe size, the town they were born in, anything which I might forget as I let the whims of my strange and bizarre Muse take over me.

I feel that writing is about world building and evolution; the plot must define the characters and the characters must define the plot. But on the whole, it's about the people who are affected by events who matter most. How do they react to circumstances as they unfold? How do they evolve over the course of a story?

It doesn't always have to be a straight line from A to B either; I've been known to get ideas for a scene that won't happen until later on in the book or know how I want to write the ending before I am done. Rather than chain my Muse, I write scenes when they come to me so that I don't lose the inspiration later. Given I have always written using a word processor, this means I can always move things around as I write and develop as I go. Unless it's a much, much shorter work I don't always move from start to finish in a progressive line and I encourage others who struggle to just write, write, write...don't force it. Let it flow!

Love & Magic,

Please Note: I am blogging on behalf of the Boston Rape Crisis Center, and if you wish to sponsor me in any dollar amount--none is too small, every bit counts!--please go here: then email me your receipt at so I can keep a running total. If you don't know what to put down for the donation, just put "Adrianne Brennan - Blogathon".


Rhiannon Mills said...

Adrianne, I myself, am a hopeless writer lol. Meaning, I plot in my head, type it all out, keep oodles of notebooks of other notes, fight with myself in my own head over whether my character would do one thing or the other in certain situations, and sometimes...well, sometimes I lose arguments to myself. I talk it all out with my Muse, and sometimes she and I even argue over the outcomes. *sighs*. My outlines end up looking more like puzzles by the time I've finished, but I always end up with something I'm proud of. In high school, my sister and I wrote stories together. If we couldn't get things right, we'd break out this old, worn box of barbie dolls (yup...I went there lol) and actually map things out with the dolls until we figured out the dynamics of our characters JUST RIGHT. I say, do whatever works for you, no matter how silly (dolls? Come on!!! lol) it may seem. Happy writing! BTW, I love your work.

Adrianne Brennan said...

I'm right with you there--do what it takes to feed your spark, that creativity that gets you going and gets you churning those nifty plots and characters. There is no "wrong" in the act of creation. I daydream, write fanfic, and do what I can to get the most life out of my characters as I can.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you enjoy my work and I'm always happy to hear from other writers about their struggles and joys with the craft.

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