Perhaps You Should Plot Your Novel

Maybe you’re the type of person who thinks that plotting the perfect solution to ninety per cent of your writing woes and you love it! Or maybe you’re the type to feel that plotting is a demonic and soul-crushing activity or perhaps you’re neutral.

Well two years ago I was neutral and far closer to a pantser than a plotter, I would have a single A4 page, dominated by the title of the book in a cloud with how the characters looked, their name and age and bang plotting done.

And now, as you know, I LOVE plotting so here are eight reasons why I love plotting and why you should try it.

(Note: I know that all of these things won’t be true for everyone, there’s no one size fits all or perfect way to write a book and that’s perfectly okay, This is just why plotting works for me and why I think that you might like it.)

Plotting Keeps Your Work “Fresh”

We’ve all at read an absolutely gripping book…and then it was dry…and then it was gripping…dry, gripping, dry, gripping! Not a good read or one that you’ll be raving about all over your socials. And we want people to be addicted and obsessed with our stories and characters and a stale read won’t do that.

When you plot your novel you can make sure that the plot and the characters are always advancing* and you don’t have to have entire chapters that are just fluff and fillers, because that’s not the gripping lines that make our readers fall in love with our books.

*You don’t have to have an adrenaline-filled car chase or create false climaxes every chapter or two nor cut out the fluff-a little bit of fluff is adorable-but you need to know why everything happening affects the story and why it should happen.

Plotting Feeds the Fire

I’ll admit to having gotten bored of stories and just having lost interest before, I had no hair-raising climax I was waiting to write, arcs to complete or big parts I was counting down the chapters to. When I started plotting my novels I felt way more motivated and excited to write knowing that I was getting closer to that scene and I knew exactly when it would come.

Like, when you say you’re going to the beach next week Thursday it’s so much more exciting than saying you’re going to the beach next week. It gives you something to look forward to.

Writers Block Is Blocked

Depending on the level at which you plotted your book you might have an outline for every chapter or each story beat or even act. But all of these things mean that you’ve already laid out the foundations for your novel and know what’s will happen so you don’t have to spend any time thinking about it when you sit down to write therefore not knowing what to write isn’t a problem.

More Quality Writing Time

Now that you know what you’re writing and aren’t suffering from writers block taking up your time you can spend that time writing and personally the more frequently I write my worlds and characters the more I fall in love with them.

Less of Any Writers Least Favourite Word

The one word that scares almost any writer: editing. You’ve already written the book but now you have to correct it, you have to catch out the spelling and grammar mistakes, you have to correct inconsistencies, you have to make sure the flow is as good as it can be and bang! You realise that you don’t just have line editing to do but you have to edit the actual story!

At least that’s how it was for me when I was still a pantser. If you plot your story you’re very unlikely to have gaping plot holes or wasted pages. Your plot will likely be solid and the characters far from two dimensional.

Plotting Doesn’t Make You or Your Book Boring

This is something that annoys me: the belief that if you plot your novel you aren’t creative and there are no surprise twists for the reader. Actually, a lot of famous authors do plot (many even advise it) and the novels they write are usually great!

You’re still using your creativity to write and to come up with the ideas you’re going to write.

A good comparison would be calling a designer uncreative because they drew a sketch of the outfit first. Unfair, right?

Happy Preptober everyone! I hope that it’s going well for you.

That’s all I have to say so now you tell me, are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? If you are you busy prepping and planning or will you be flying by the seat of your pants and do you have any tips for the rest of us?

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