Wednesday, September 14, 2011

PLOT, PLOT, FIZZ, FIZZ

The topic du jour is plotting, or more specifically, what are my favorite ways (like shower, laundry, exercise) to figure out plot.

Actually, I like to plot while I drive. There are no laws prohibiting plotting while driving, and I have yet to squash a squirrel as a result of my multi-tasking. I plot while driving out of necessity … I have two teenagers so I’m in the car a lot. I drive up the Daniel Webster Highway. I drive down the Daniel Webster Highway. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. When I’m just driving around delivering children to wherever they need to go, I love loud music, but when I’m plotting, I like it on the quiet side. You’ll know I’m plotting if you pull up beside me at a red light, and I’m scribbling maniacally in my Moleskine. Sadly, I can’t always read what I’ve written, because it looks something like this: adv crse so T hs chnc to scr phn –ck lgstcs

I also plot in the wee hours of the morning. If I fall asleep before 11 p.m., I often wake up at 3:15 a.m., which creeps me out because that’s the same time the guy in Amityville Horror woke up. The nice thing about 3:15 in my house is it’s dark and quiet so while I’m waiting to fall back to sleep, my characters usually pop into my head and start chatting with each other until a scene forms, then I write it down (in the dark) and the next morning, it looks something like this: ȸɐɏɠ ɥɰɶ ʠΐηϬ. No, I can’t read that, either.

I’ve been inspired by chopping vegetables, cleaning the toilet, flossing my teeth, eating cereal, sitting on a boat, getting the mail . . . the list goes on. But usually I plot best when I sit my tush in the desk chair and work it. Plotting is equal parts whimsy and logic and willingness to make your characters suffer. I aim for about sixty scenes in a novel, and every one of those scenes must contain some kind of conflict, each building off a previous scene and contributing to the next. I’ve said it before . . . writing a book is like putting together an 80,000 piece puzzle. There will be pieces that won’t fit, and these are the pages I wave good-bye to and add to my widow & orphans file. William Faulkner said to kill our darlings. William Faulkner was right.

When I wrote the first draft of AURACLE, I pantsed my way through it. I had a concept (astral projection) a protagonist and an antagonist. Since I was writing a paranormal romance, I needed a love interest, too, so I came up with one of those (that’s a story for another day ; ). I had a solid setting, a theme, and a good enough writing voice to attract the attention of an amazing agent (Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger) who very nicely let me know the one thing I was missing … a plot. I am forever grateful to Andrea – it’s with her help that AURACLE took shape, and under the loving care of my editor, Katherine Jacobs from Roaring Brook Press, we polished it up and it will launch on August 7, 2012 …

… which means it’s time to fold some laundry and see what I come up with next.


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Gina Rosati is the debut author of AURACLE, a YA paranormal romance (Roaring Brook Press, August 2012.) She lives with her family in southern NH. She likes trees, cute fuzzy animals, and cinnamon red hots.

2 comments:

  1. It is currently 4:23 am. I woke up with my characters chatting away in my head. Imagine my relief to pop on the internet and see you've written this: "The nice thing about 3:15 in my house is it’s dark and quiet so while I’m waiting to fall back to sleep, my characters usually pop into my head and start chatting..."

    *sigh* So comforting to know I'm not insane. Or at least that we're both insane. It's good to have company in the middle of the night!

    AURACLE sounds amazing. Can't wait for it to come out so I can figure out what astral projection is!!!

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