Friday, January 16, 2009

The Life and Death and Life again of a Plot

Plotting on Jimmy Coates: 8 has been coming on well this week. I realised on Monday that I'd planned the two major events of the book in the wrong order. The middle was actually the end and the end was actually the middle. Once I'd swapped them round, things became much clearer.

So now I finally have the story in some kind of shape. I always feel relieved when I reach this stage. This is the stage where, if I die, somebody else could write the book roughly as I intended it to be. All the major twists are there in my plans, so there wouldn't be too much guesswork involved.

Having said that, I would much rather write the thing myself than die and let someone else write it.

The next stage is for me to pitch the whole story to my trusted advisor (also known in the business as a 'wife'). That'll take about fifteen minutes (or twenty-five, depending on how many questions she has). From her reaction (and her questions) I'll know which bits of the story are working and which bits need attention.

Then I'll have reached the stage where I need to replot the whole thing with this new audience reaction in mind. And that's when I go back to hoping that I won't die.

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