I’ve been mapping out my outline to Books 2 and 3 of the novel and having great fun doing it. After I got all the basic plot points down that I felt needed covering, I went back through and looked at:
- Plot Twists
- Flow and Dramatic Sequence
Let me elaborate on these three points (which just so happen to be very much interrelated). After I’ve laid out the basic plot, I like to go back through with each major character to ensure that something is driving them through the story. I don’t want them to just be “along for the ride.” Then, I look for strong “gotcha” moments. In a sense, many of these moments were built in from the beginning; they’re almost the reason for the story. But in many cases, I can find additional moments that, ideally, even surprise me as I write them (and give me that “yes!” feeling). In some cases, these new plot twists derive directly from my work on character motivations. And finally, I go back through looking at the flow of the story and it’s dramatic tension (as a result of sequence). I need to not only ensure that I reveal the right information and resolve the proper issues in the order best for the story, but I need to make sure that the story flows properly from group to group, character to character, giving appropriate time to each.
And now, on to the prose!