Imagination Play Time by Kathryn L. James

Plot or Pansters? I wrote Crazy Beautiful Lies, a full-length novel, and Crazy Beautiful Kiss, a short in the anthology, Story of a Kiss, entirely by the seat of my pants. I didn’t know where they were going from chapter to chapter…not even scene to scene. But I did it, and in the end, I was over the top happy with the results!

And then….

I met friends in the writer’s world who used plot methods. Some used high-tech computer storyboards, others a poster board with colorful post-its. After pondering if it would help me write better or faster, I decided what the heck and gave it a try. I’m addicted! I thought I would share my journey and tips on how I got started. First, I went to Pinterest (that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me….that’s where my research always begins, LOL). I read blogs and made my notes. Cherry Adair teaches a class and what I wouldn’t do for an opportunity to go. She’s an amazing writer and mentor! But since traveling that far away is not in the cards for me right now, I made up my own rules. There’s a wealth of information out there on how to get started.

*Disclaimer* I’m a newbie at this, but willing to share what I’ve come up with. And, I think it has truly has helped me write faster. Now, if I can only find a simple way to manage writing time better.

Posterboard, post-its, colored pens, and imagination play time….that sums it up!

Divide your posterboard into Three Acts. Each block is a chapter. Layer your post-its on chapter block on what’s going on.
Pinpoint where you want your ‘big’ stuff to happen.

story board

*Pink – FMC, Blue – MMC (that was a no-brainer choice in color)
*Green – Conflict. I LOVE angst so I have a lot of this color!
*Purple – SEX (PP – purple passion!) Red was too hard to find in my area.
*Yellow – Geography (Where they are. Yellow = Sunshine! LOL
*Orange – This is my SOS color. My storyline needs something!
*Hot Pink – Something big. Turning point. (Oh. Hell. Moments) & Climax

Here’s where it all happens. You can see my plot board under my laptop. Since my writing space is small, I clip it to the shelf above my head when I’m typing away.  See all that green, my characters in my current WIP knew each other in the past and have reason to have DARK DARK DARK secrets…oooohhhh, lots of angst 🙂

my work space

A few days ago, I asked my experienced writing buddies…Is is normal to shake up the colors? Meaning, I had a brainstorm that changed my plot, which changed my post-its! They assured me that was perfectly normal! That’s good because it’s happened more than once!

If you haven’t tried plot boarding, give it a spin. See if it’s for you. A year ago, if you would have asked me if I plotted, I would have replied, “No freakin’ way!”. Today, I’m glad I gave it a try. My characters, plot, and story are coming together better, faster, and plus I’m addicted to all those colorful post-its!

Happy reading and writing! Until next time, KJ




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