Here is a brief summary of my notes taken at Susan Wiggs fabulous session, PLOTTING FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
The plotting/pre-writing phase.
-Find your 'white' space. (eg. long walk)
-Make a collage (not an avoidance technique, is part of your 'white' space, being the architect of your story.)
-Make a playlist ('white' space again, even if you don't listen to it while writing it can spark ideas.)
-Focus on a powerful emotion you're experiencing (you don't need a big plot if your character has a big issue/problem)
-Couple an image with that emotion (may lead to something you can hang your story on.)
-Sociogram (what I refer to as mind maps-see previous post on this blog.)
After all this pre-writing, you should have an idea of your main character.
For Susan, this pre-writing phase can take up to 2 weeks, less if tight deadline.
For me, hearing her describe how she uses collaging, etc...(may do it then not look at it again while writing) resonated with how I do my pre-writing. Loads of research, may collage, then don't look at it while writing!
-Go through this process with every main character in your book.
-Take your main character to the point of decision in her life.
(Open blank document, start writing in 1st person present tense, fast writing, where character unloads her baggage/burden she's carrying-great internal problems!)
Also encourages the character's natural voice rather than the author's (about 500 words.)
-Start each day's writing with your character DOING THE NEXT INDICATED THING.
-Self help books also a great source for giving arc of growth for real issues.
Tomorrow, a summary of Kelley Armstrong's workshop, Picking up the Pace.