RB: Plotting, The Bane Of My Existence

Okay, that might be a bit harsh. Plotting isn’t really the bane. . . no, wait, yes it is.


I have to do what now?


The sad thing is I’m a complete, one hundred percent plotter. I NEED to plot. I NEED to know where my story is going otherwise I sit and stare at the screen.


Extreme Writer's Block

Or resort to violence because the words won’t come.


After I finished creating my Pre-Writing Character Questionnaire charts, I decided I needed something similar for plotting. A list of questions I could answer and at the end, viola!, I’d know my story’s inciting incident, midpoint, when to enter the B Story, the all is lost moment, etc. My Muse would be sooo happy and I wouldn’t have to buy another Mac because I threw the old one across the room.


So I hooked up with Google for an afternoon and after an intimate discussion found Jami Gold’s worksheets for writers. If you’re a writer, a plotter, a pantser, I recommend checking out her site. She has a ton of information for writers. And best of all, she already had seven different plotting spreadsheets I could use.



Hells yeah!


The only problem now is choosing the best one for me.

How do you plot? Do you use a spreadsheet? Just jot the basics on a napkin?


Here’s the link to Jami Gold’s site. Check it out, writers! jamigold.com/for-writers/worksheets-for-writers




19 thoughts on “RB: Plotting, The Bane Of My Existence

  1. I love Jami’s site–what a treasure trove! She has a really good handle on structure and characters…lots of great worksheets and downloads. 🙂

  2. I wrote my first novel as randomly as one could possibly write. I knew the sequence of events, the timelines and some of the characters involved. But that’s about it. As I started writing the first draft, about half of the things were in place. In subsequent revisions of the draft, I think the loose ends began to tie up. I simply call it beginner’s luck.
    For my second novel, I am trying to follow a much more structured process, and keep going back to what I could be my natural style.

  3. Pingback: Back to work with a new out(line/look) | Journal of Insanity

  4. Thanks for the shout out to my beat sheets! 🙂

    The funny thing is that I’m a pantser to the core–but I love story structure. Go figure. LOL!

    I tend to internalize all this story structure knowledge and never write any of these beat sheet details down before I draft. Sometimes I’ll pull them out for revisions or after I’m done with the draft and am curious about how I did, but never *before*. My muse wouldn’t allow it. 🙂

    • You are more than welcome, Jami. I love your site and your beat sheets! Thank you so much for putting up that post. 🙂


    • Wow! More power to you. It’s just one less step then for you to do before you can start writing.

      Normally during my pre-writing phase I’m just dying to dive right in. The thought that I will get stuck half way through without during all the pre-legwork stops me.


  5. sticky notes – I learned that from Script writing, write the scenes on sticky notes on a large board, that overlooks my desk, it also helps with keeping track of the subplots, my murder scenes, and when to put in some background story – plus I like the visual I have next to me all the time – easier to jump back into writing that way (got so much other stuff going on constantly). Love your blog!

    • Ella: I like notecards. I got that idea from Sue Grafton in her Kinsey Milhone novels. I write scene ideas as I think of them on notecards and pin them up on a cork board. That way I can shuffle them around as I plot the story, divide them into story strands, remove them, put them in a different order. Like puzzle pieces. Sometimes like evil puzzle pieces that are trying to kill me–or just make me insane–but hey, at least they’re colorful!

      • I tried the notecards once. And the sticky notes. But when I start writing, I feel like I’m swimming with no idea of where I’m going. I’m hoping Jami’s sheets will eliminate this panicky feeling.


    • I tried the sticky note thing with my last novel and in the end put all the sticky note info on a sheet of paper. Just looking at the large stack of notes drove me nuts. LOL.


  6. You know that site has been in my favourites since I came to you two lovely ladies.
    I am a Pantser I just write with the story in my head. An arc or side story will be twisted in after 😛

    I am weird I know.

    I do not even plot characters. they just are parts of me. Or maybe just truly me.
    But I need to thank you as mentioned in today’s moaning I am trying to plot a story. So help me muse. Thank you ladies for the link And fingers crossed On my story.

    • Ah, the world of a panster… It’s something I just can’t understand. 😉 Perhaps its because I’ve been planning my life since I was a toddler in my crib. I always had to know what was coming next.

      In all honesty, I’ve actually admired those who don’t have to plan out a novel, or life, step by step. There’s more spontaneity, more surprises, and probably just a general good ‘ol time when they’re writing.


    • Yes, the character stuff comes so easily too me. If I get stuck, I just ask the characters to help out. But plotting is a whole different story. I really hope Jami Gold’s sheets will help out.


  7. My brain won’t tolerate that level of organization. I’m more of a scribble-all-over-the-page outliner. And I never throw away my notes. If anyone ever finds them, I may find myself bound, gagged, and hauled off to an appropriate treatment facility.

    • Ha! I often think if people could hear the things I think about (for story use only, of course), I would’ve been arrested a long, long time ago. Have you ever seen Minority Report with Tom Cruise? I’m so glad that isn’t how society truly is. If it was, I can’t image there being too many writers around. Especially those like Stephen King.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s