Skip to main content

The Importance of Planning in Fiction

After all the hype about Dan Brown's books I finally decided to read one. Since I'd already seen The Da Vinci Code at the movies, I opted for Angels and Demons, a story I knew nothing about. I was totally engaged in the plot and the characters until I got to the end. When Robert Langdon jumped from a moving helicopter using only his coat as a parachute, and landed unharmed on a river bank, I set the book to the side and didn't finish it.
This got me to thinking about my novel. I asked myself if the world I created was cogent. After all, my plot is complex and there's a lot of otherworldly stuff going on. The world I construct around my characters will play an important role in the overall believability of the story. I needed to be sure I'd done everything in my power to weave a tightly knitted plot, sooooo, I went into Google and did some reading.
During my research I came across two very interesting articles. The first, titled: The Importance of Setting by Tina Morgan, explains that authors must research and plan the worlds they are creating. Failing to do so could result in poor conflict resolution, which may cause the author to change the rules midway through the story. It seems Mr. Brown was guilty of this. Langdon's jump was completely out of character, not to mention unrealistic (I couldn't suspend my disbelief). Even if an author creates a world that is completely make believe, he/she must plan/plot out every contingency before putting pen to paper. Ms. Morgan says the extra work will pay off with a well written book.
The second article I came across discusses J.K. Rowling's plotting Method.  She uses a grid process to outline her chapters. They are separated by title and month then under each section, she explains how the individual chapter relates to the over-arching plot. She also has columns for the subplots of each of her six books.
Although my method of planning isn't as complex as Rowling’s, based on the success of her novels, I can see how effective and important planning is to the overall effectiveness of a story.  
Do any of you pre-plan or outline your stories?  If not, then I'd be interested to know how you organize the plots before putting pen to paper.  How do you make it all work?  Unitl next time, happy writing.

Popular posts from this blog

Opinions Pleaaaaaase!!!!!

Hello All,

I recently began a new WIP.  Although I'm happy with my outline, I've struggled with the beginning. This said, I wrote two opening paragraphs. Both lead to the same place, but they take a very different paths to get there. I just can't decide which one I like better.  If you have a minute or two, I'd  appreciate it if you'd give your opinion. Which paragraph would keep you reading?  Also, please be mindful that these are very raw first drafts.  I'd be happy to return the favor anytime.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Opening #1A cold chill broke across my arms when he entered the room. It happened every time I saw him. By now you'd think I'd be used to him Yet, here I sat, dreading his very presence. You see, to everyone else he was a man of flesh and blood. A man who devoted his life to treating the sick.  To me, he was Doom—bringing false hope to the incurable—deliverer of tragedy, ready to do his worst.  My dad and I had been confronted…

Feeling Vulnerable

It's time for another installment of the ISWG, hosted byAlex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this wonderful group, click on the preceding link.

I've posted my novel PAWN OF THE GODS on Kindle Scout, a publishing program ran by Amazon. It allows unpublished authors to post their work for thirty days. During that time, readers log on, read the excerpt (or not) and if they like what they see, they nominate the author for publication. At the end of the campaign, the nominations are tallied and the board votes on which books to publish. 

PAWN OF THE GODS has been up for a little over a week.  It was on the Hot and Trending list for nineteen hours, and more than one thousand seven-hundred visitors have viewed my excerpt.  All good stuff right? If that's true, why the hell am I so insecure? I suppose it's because I'm putting myself out there. It's tough to do, especially with such stiff competition. 

This said, if any of you are interested, I posted my link below.  If …

Andrea Franco-Cook's New Release PAWN OF THE GODS

Hello all,
I just wanted to announce the launch of my debut novel PAWN OF THE GODS. It's published for free on Amazon Kindle until May 22.  After that, it will go on sale for $3.99. PAWN OF THE GODS

Book Summary
According to Mayan prophecy the gods of the underworld will declare war on man. Their undoing however, lies hidden deep in the Yucatan in 1572, when a winged entrusted a celestial weapon to a Spanish Conquistador for safe keeping.
Five hundred years later, the winged god reveals himself to Soledad Mendoza, detailing how she is tied to the conquistador, and the impending war. But the young English professor is unsure of herself. Out of shape and a lonely widow at thirty, her predilection for scotch makes her more suited to join a twelve-step program, than become a hero.
Unfortunately, Soledad is forced into action when she learns her family friend, Senator Earl Edmondson has ties to the conquistador and the weapon, ties that could either harm or help her.
A pawn caught in a dan…