Linear Plotting into Infinity

2014-08-06 17.58.08Update: I’m still here, blogging friends. Life washed me up on its shores, battered but happy and alive. One tremendous hurdle is receding in the distance; yet another one looms. But…it’s all extremely good and, since I feel like writing for the first time in weeks, I’m blogging instead of creating my revision outline:)

Linear thinking is my thing. Point A to Point Z, straight ahead, no wandering around, no getting lost. TripAdvisor, Google Earth, or a good old map are my guideposts. When I’m plotting, I draw lines. Straight lines. Rigid as it seems, I don’t vary much once I get my ideas down on paper. But, tonight, I have to admit, I’m stalling a bit. Right now, drawing seems more fun. I just may have to buy a real whiteboard!11970909911651569759jcartier_Pencil_svg_thumb

Do you create your plot in 2D or 3D? Tell me how you do it – maybe I’ll try something new.

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24 thoughts on “Linear Plotting into Infinity

  1. I like your chart a lot! 😉
    As you might have guessed, my quirky Muse likes to hop around in the story, even though I do try to write roughly from beginning to end. I sometimes start way too early in the story, or jump back to the earlier scenes in the middle, then I might take a side trip into a secondary character’s story, or write a critical turning point two or three different ways, but I do always finish at the end, and write the ending last.
    Revision is a bear for me, but so far, the ideas I get in the course of my crazy process have made me very happy. 🙂

    • I like your idea of writing the turning point scene a couple of different ways. In fact, I may just have to do that. Linear thinking can stifle me, I think. I stick with it because it’s comfortable, not because it’s creative. Of course, it would be a lot easier to be creative if Juan, my absent muse, ever show up again. Oh well, no one ever said writing was easy:)

  2. The ending is always one of the first things I envision, as I love to have a clear end point to aim for. Then I just start at the beginning and work my way towards that end, letting the plot develop as necessary.

  3. I’m a strictly linear thinker too and I found it really helped to name my chapters – put them in an order and I had a sort of structure to work with.

  4. Funny you’ve just said this as I wrote a blog post yesterday about the joys of Scrivener and it’s ability to allow me to jump about within my already plotted story if I was stumped one day. We all do things differently don’t we? Good to see you blogging 🙂

  5. I like your chart! 😀

    I tend to be rather non-linear, I go all over the place when I plan, noting down scenes when I think of them.

    • I write notes when I think of a scene, but I push them into order when I’m ready to outline. I’ve tried to be less rigid, but it’s the only thing that works for me so far:)

  6. Nice to see you’re still with us. 😀

    I’m linear as well. I have a NaNo in a drawer I mean to get back to. I had no idea how to plot a novel when I did it. What are scenes? themes? etc. Since then I have learned a huge amount and believe it’s still in good shape. Will it be publishable? I believe so but I’m still chewing on the content.

  7. I use a classic Aristotle’s Incline–it helps me keep my pacing in line, and helps me determine what needs to happen and when based on plot points and the Three Act structure (total nerd, I know). 🙂

    • I hate to admit this, but Aristotle’s Incline is new to me. Plot points and Three Act structure I’ve studied, but I’m still winging it, pushing stubbornly along. I’m a my-way or the high-way kind of person, but it’s probably time to change my habits before this outline or its author dies of old age.

      • Aristotle’s Incline is just a fancy way of saying “three act structure and plot points”, with the line starting low and ending high. I like it because it gives me a plot map, but leaves plenty of room for the story to evolve organically.

  8. when I’m plotting, I like to use a hollowed out volcano and a big budget for explosions…also some men on skis. Alas for all that I am still not a successful writer, would you believe!

  9. I would love to see a 3d plotter work.

    • After I wrote that, I wondered what the hell I was thinking of. We do have a MakerBot at work, a 3D printer. But, I haven’t figured out how to get the thing to plot my story ideas in 3D;)

  10. I have a wipe-board – it covers one wall and I absolutely love it. Not easy to draw straight lines though, but I’m more of a ‘mind-mapper’ or a character/plot tree kind of gal!

    • Glad to hear this works for you. I’m buying one tomorrow! My husband has volunteered to install it so I’ll have no more reasons to stall, fiddle, and procrastinate on this outline:)

      • Bless him. Mine just kind of flops against the wall! But it’s useful so I don’t mind waiting for it to be fitted 🙂 You won’t regret buying one – though you may get distracted for a few days!

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