Thursday, March 16, 2006

Plotting

I'm riding the wave for now...having written over 6k in 2 1/2 days. It's a good start...I know I can't keep up this momentum, but I'm happy for now.

We've had a bit of a discussion in various areas concerning internal vs. external plotting. One of the main criticisms I got on my last ms was that I had too much external plot, and it's something I've consciously been working on, both with The Baby Bargain and now with Original Sin.

For a long time I didn't really get the distinction...or the subtleties. I kept thinking that THINGS had to happen to my characters. Now I realize that with the subgenre that I'm writing, not so many THINGS have to happen at all. Now with certain subgenres or lines there is lots of external plot...lines like Harlequin's Intrigue or Bombshell for example. But with the Romance line and with Modern Extra (the two I seem to be attached to for now), the emphasis is on the internal plot.

Talking to other writers has helped me understand this so much better. When I develop a plot line now it usually consists of things that happen to my character's emotions. Like in TBB - "when Alex makes her 'fake' vows to Connor she realizes she is falling in love for real." Now external plotwise, this is negligible. But importance to the story? It's a main turning point. Now I know I have to let my conflict come from my characters, rather than having things happen to them that they necessarily react to.

It's not that you can't have SOME external plot. But it's got to be a situation that furthers the romance and the emotion. And most of the time external plot is what throws your characters together in the first place....but the internal plot is what carries them to what happens next - and keeps them together.

In TBB, I have a tornado. Yup, an act-of-God-completely external event. But it's the catalyst that takes my characters from keeping their feelings inside because of fear to admitting them and finding their HEA. And yet I'm still a little worried that it's too external.

I've rambled WAY long enough, so for a lighter EXIT I'll leave you with a pic of my current Hero - and this pic inspired a bit that's going to come up in a later chapter....

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