So I've been thinking a lot about plot structure lately. It feels like every time you get to the middle of a novel, you really start to slow down. You lose focus on where you're going and how to get there. Why did everything come flying out to the page in the first act only to grind to a halt here in the second? It's ridiculous and super unfair! I can hear writers around the world screaming as they pull their hair out in frustration. The rewrites in this stage are numerous and excruciating. Seriously... it feels like somebody has thrown my soul into a bog of sludge and all I want to do it crawl out, but I'm stuck and can't move.
So what do I do in a situation like this? Well last night I sat down and really evaluated my plot structure. I'm a huge fan of the 7 Point Plot Structure and I use it heavily to craft where I think I want my story to go (if you aren't familiar with it, check out my post on the 7 Points here). I also created a new nifty graphic to help me keep the whole thing straight in my mind. Apparently nobody on Pinterest has done this yet, and it seriously needed to happen:
I'm a super visual person sometimes and it really helps to have it laid out like this for a reference. Now I can look back and easily see where I am and where I should be in relation to the intensity of the scene. If you're a writer, let me know if you find this handy! After really nailing down the progression of the story, I feel like I'm ready to get back into the nitty gritty of the writing bit again.
I might have to throw away some scenes I've crafted, but hey! It's all in a day's work.
Okay... so maybe the thought of trashing a carefully written and funny scene makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry like I just watched Titanic for the first time, but I'll get over it.
It's all in the name of the greater good. Right?