After the Skype meeting with Sandra (my mentor from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy), my mind was buzzing with ideas about how to firm up the plot. I spent the next couple of days lost in Gavin’s world thinking about how the various characters would behave and react in the different scenarios which we had discussed. As I went about my day, took a couple of long walks, cut the grass, and cleaned the house… in fact, all the time… Gavin, Granny, Gizmo, Auntie Deborah and The Roaster roamed around my head. I had so many ideas it was hard to know which way to turn.
I have to admit that at one point I felt totally overwhelmed by it.
Then, my many years as a Primary School teacher led me to the solution. I got a piece of sting and strung it up in my little writing room. Then I literally pegged out the key features of a three act story:
- The Set-up
- The Inciting Event
- At least three conflicts and attempts to overcome them
- The high point
- Rug-pulling moment
- The hero’s darkest hour
After this, I wrote down my plot onto bits of paper, bearing in mind the cause and effect of each scene. I pegged each piece of paper onto the appropriate section along my sting. This enabled me to swap and change things around until I felt that the plot worked.
Have you tried doing this or something similar? Please comment below.
Before doing this, my previous draft had a similar story but lacked clear progression and structure. Now I feel that the tension rises and that the stakes are higher. I have also simplified some areas of the story which were unnecessarily overly complicated.
Having done all this, I have now written the story out as a long synopsis (6 pages) and sent it to Sandra. Hopefully, I have addressed the main weaknesses in the plot, but I’ll wait to see that she thinks.