The plot thickens…

26 10 2007

What do you do if you’re almost finished the first draft of your novel, and you find yourself tangled in timelines, with a spaghetti-esque plot, and sub-characters fighting your main characters for air-play?

I’m almost at the end of the first draft of my first novel, which I’ve been writing for about three years now (while trying to deal with life, the universe and everything).

It started out as a story about three women in business, navigating midlife (a.k.a. write what you know). I knew the first and last ‘scenes’ but that was the extent of my plot.

So I’ve written about 65,000 words and, while I know each character’s story, I keep finding gaps and getting tangled up with timelines. The lovely Sash said I should check out Justine Larbalestier’s idea of doing up a spreadsheet for your novel.

It’s time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort. I now have a fabulous spreadsheet with the point of view, day, place, word count, a brief content outline, plus notes and the editing needed for each chapter. (Thanks, Justine!).

I’ve also discovered that, in addition to my three main characters, I have at least four sub-characters getting air-play (well, they keep me amused!).

Perhaps I should be writing a sitcom?

Obviously, some will have to go…meanwhile, I’m plugging on until I can write ‘the end’. Then I’ll get stuck into editing — and probably (aagh!!) a complete re-write.







One response

27 10 2007

Don’t erase too many sub-characters, luvvy – they’re the sequels waiting in the wings to be written…

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