Plotting & Progress Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

I tend to forget how much I like plotting. The adrenaline rush of figuring out the twists and turns, the superior feeling that comes from tying up loose ends, the thrill of realizing the perfect spot to sneak in a red herring: that’s all forgotten about 2 chapters in.

See, once I get into writing the story, plotting starts to feel like a delay. Instead of moving the story forward, it puts the draft on hold while I figure stuff out (if it don’t add to word count, it don’t count [sic.]). Sometimes, I’ll even keep writing when I shouldn’t because the urge to make progress overwhelms my desire to plot my course. That’s when I end up having to re-write – after I do some plotting.

Counter-intuitive as it is, there are times when pausing to plot is a better way to make progress than writing.

And after all the delay tactics, I get into the plotting and suddenly remember, “Hey! This is fun!” There might even be some maniacal laughter as I route the characters through the story. Or as I imagine tricking unsuspecting readers (if I had roommates, I’d probably end up in a cell). How could I forget how entertaining plotting can be? I get to build a story. I get to weave it together, throw in all sorts of complications, and lead characters around by the nose (or whatever).

What’s not to like about that?

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