Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TIPS: Plot = Meandering Paths or Superhighways

Well, I've been editing Curse of the Rose / The Butterfly Lady only to find something really annoying. The last third of the book meandered. I mean, no one wants to read a novel superhighway that just goes Directly to Jail and doesn't pass Go (makes for a short, predictable read) but the last third of my book just didn't know where it was going or what it needed to do to get there. So I'm going to have to do a whole bunch of editing / re-writing to make it fit.

I found that doing up a synopsis chapter-by-chapter really helped to show me which chapters were dull, which didn't explain themselves well, and which chapters really had to change. I only wish that I'd done a synopsis at the start of the editing process, if not at the actual first draft process.

Next time, I reckon I'll do up a synopsis from the word go. I can always go off course if I want to but at least this way I'll know what I'm veering away from and why. It should save costly last-minute major revisions.

So, anyone else write by synopsis / novel outlines?


  1. That's a great idea! I'm not much of an outliner in general, but going back and doing a synopsis after the first draft seems like it could really help figure out pacing. I just started my revision, I wonder if it's a good time to try this?

  2. Absolutely! What I ended up doing is putting in lots of dot points about what I wanted to achieve on each chapter as well.