In the last two posts, we discussed how writers craft their stories. Some are pansters, writers that write by the seat of their pants. While others, plot each action and resulting disaster in the story. Me, I do a little of both and then some.
I’ll have a fantastic idea for a story and know exactly where it will take place, who the main character (MC) is, and what the MC has to achieve. The first few chapters are written quickly but then I hit the proverbial brick wall. It’s always at the first pinch mark where the MC leaves the ordinary world and crosses into the meat of the story.
This is where I use the Snowflake (SM) Method. Creating plot points, significant events in a story that spin the action in another direction using the SM works well. Each plot point will have an action with a reaction, either disastrous or benevolent. It pulls the story along sort of like a roller coaster, up and down.
In my opinion, a story should have many plot points. Each chapter should have one, if not in every scene. The ever changing direction of the story will compel the reader to turn the page to find out what will happen next.
But even blending the two writing methods is still not enough for me. Sometimes I wander endlessly in a story and get lost. This is where I find writing backward helps me stay focus. Having the last chapter with the big reveal will show me where I have to end up. Then I write the climax and mid-point of the story creating an arc. Putting it all together is the next step. I paste everything into one document and start from the beginning to make sure it all congeals.
Every writer will use what works best for them, pansting, plotting, writing backward, or a combination of the three. Using various methods gives the writer the tools to create a story that will hold the interest of the reader, and want to come back for more.