Friday, September 30, 2011

Scene Charting and Revision

When you revise your story and fall in love all over again, it makes you realize that you're on the right track.

My agent (Vickie Motter) and Crit partner (Ansha Kotyk) have both encouraged me to get my butt in gear on a plot map. To get a handle on my timeline, to make sure my characters are consistent. I've been dragging my feet. But yesterday, I went through my manuscript and charted (in an excel spreadsheet) each scene in each chapter. I included the chapter name, pages, characters appearing, and what happens in the scene.

I may not be the best student of Darcy Pattison's model, but her book on craft is easy to read, and easy to follow. You can follow along as much as you want--I chose to take her advice for putting together a scene chart, it seemed a bit less overwhelming than a plot map.

What methods of scene charting do you do?

5 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I do this when I plot out books so that I can get time frames right. Doesn't always happen though. On my WIP, I realized after several drafts that I had completely missed Valentine's Day. A big deal when you write YA with romance. ;)

Jonathon Arntson said...

Are you happy with the result?

Kristine Asselin said...

LOL, Jon. I am--I really wasn't sure what the value was going to be. Especially for an MS that has been through the ringer as many times as mine has been. But, I've been emailing with Stina (above you on the comment list) and realized that I don't mention the 4th of July in my MS that takes place from June27-July 28.

The chart helps me see where my holes are. So that's a good thing!

Laura Pauling said...

After the first rewrite is done, I put down these things on an index card.

goal
conflict
outer turning point
inner turning point
timeline (how much time has passed, what day is it.)
+/- (Does the scene start on a positive or negative note.)

At least that's all I can remember. There might be a a couple more items I mark down.

Alicia Gregoire said...

Glad the plot chart helped out! I should really look at that Darcy Pattison book.