Plotting and sub-plots

With each novel I write, I improve on the mistakes I made in the last one. The last novel was a psychological thriller and had a cast of seven characters. As I adore reading the genre of crime and thrillers, I thought I’d write a crime thriller this time.

By the nature of the theme, I have already a cast of characters that are beyond the number of my last book, hence this time I am plotting and sub-plotting a lot more carefully.

I have used the mind map format – one for the main plot and one for the sub-plots. They inevitably intertwine, so the spidery maps twist and turn, finally linking together to form the foundation of the novel.

In my experience, I follow the plot lines, but as I write, the characters do come up with their own ideas which I allow to flourish. They sometimes surprise me and so I believe they will surprise the reader too.

If I had an office, I’d have the chart pinned to a board, but as I don’t – I use a marble washstand in the lounge or a Victorian pine table in the conservatory – I have two sheets of A4 stuck together that I open up like a map. The map helps me tread my way towards another novel.

I also have a box of cue cards, each depicting traits of the character’s, so I don’t forget things such as eye colour and what phrases they tend to use. As I intend this novel to be the first in a series, it’s important that I remain consistent with the characters.

Do you have other mapping methods – I’d be interested to hear about them and perhaps improve my own method.

Welcome to the new follower and Happy Word Flow One and All.

2 thoughts on “Plotting and sub-plots

  1. I going to adopt your cue cards method, I like that— an easy way to keep track of the little details about your characters. I don't have a particular method yet but I'm sure as time goes on and I continue to write I will eventually find what works for me.

    Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward in reading more about your writing style!


  2. Goodness me, I've been very slack at monitoring my blog, hence i missed your comment – and believe me, comments are most welcome.
    Glad you are going to use cue cards – they really help.
    Take care


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