Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leave your subplot at the door

So this past weekend I began to freak out, like seriously freak out. I’m ¾ through my WIP and all the sudden I had no idea where I wanted to go with the story. YIKES!

I posted immediately on the amazing blue boards and received some fantastic advice. One such member advised the book BOOK IN A MONTH, which has come up many a times on the blogosphere. I’ve chosen to ignore this book because I’m a pantser. What do I need with a super strict, outlining book? Yeah, nothing.

LESSON 1: I’m not that good. Nope, not at all. I don’t need a rigid schedule, but I do need to know where I’m heading…a bit.

Fast forward to yesterday where I rush into B&N and buy this fantastic book.
O. M. G. It is really something of a genius book. Now, those who have been around awhile know I adore Stein. This is a very different book. It’s colorful and easy paced and doesn’t make you say “huh?” while you read it.

I dive in and already I’m beside myself at how stupid I have been.

LESSON 2 (directly from the book): No subplots during draft mode

Whaa? No subplots? But I have to have subplots, and loads of mind-bending, cool ones. That’s how I write. Now you want me to write a draft without any?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

It’s writing genius. Stick to the main plot. Stick to that spine. It’s been said before, of course, but my ears weren’t listening. And this was the golden ticket for me.

I’m reading through the first parts of my WIP now, cleaning up the main plot and ignoring everything else. It is so gratifying and easy, like breathing. Geez, why didn’t I buy this book when everyone said I should?

LESSON 3: Listen to others, often. They know more than you.

Happy Almost Friday, folks!



  1. It's funny how stubborn we can be sometimes, isn't it? =) So happy you were able to get such good advice and move ahead in your writing!

    That IS good advice, too. No subplots. I also love the idea of forcing ourselves to just focus on one element, rather than freaking out about everything. Now I need to take THAT advice on board!

  2. I'm going to bookmark this post so I can drill these lessons into my head once and for all :-)

  3. Anne -- It is ridiculous for sure how stubborn we can be. And why? There are so many excellent writers out there (pub and unpub)willing to offer help and advice. That's one of the things I love most about writing -- there's an entire community willing to help!

    Laura -- :) I think we are in the same boat here.

  4. I think you may have just changed my life with this advice! I'm going to go check out that book this weekend.

  5. Krista - I'm so glad! Definitely check it out, you won't be sorry.