An Arguement for Plotting

make things happen

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been getting ready to start writing an adult mystery, a cozy.  When I tried to develop my premise, I discovered that I just didn’t know enough. I needed to do more work with my characters.

I’ve also been a little iffy on whether or not I wanted to plot out a novel vs just pantsing it.  But this time around and really seeing the benefit of plotting.  My character works at a museum.  Initially, I thought she was the archivist of the museums book collection and documents because the “person of note” was a children’s author.  But that still felt generic especially when I started really getting into the character.  She seemed real but her occupation felt thin.

So I started thinking about my character and what kind of children’s author she would be passionate about.  Over the course of Wednesday afternoon, I came up with the name for and premise of the fictitious series written by the “person of note.”  I knew when the books were written as well as the moral code they represented.

It seems like a bit much, doesn’t it?  But the important thing is that it is going to play into the background of the town.  This will come into play perhaps not in book 1 but in later mysteries.  See – I’m thinking series.

But I wouldn’t have come up with all of this if I was just winging it – aka pantsing.  I needed the space and the time to develop her occupation.  And I can see now how this will complicate all kinds of things through the various books.

On one hand, I’m hoping that I don’t have to go this deep for every character but I have my suspicions that it would be worthwhile, helping to create a setting and a world that is only loosely based on anywhere in particular but feels concrete and real.  Plotting is definitely worth the effort.

–SueBE

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