J-A’s Writing Process – Step 4 – Plotting

You know, writing about your writing process isn’t as easy as you’d think!  However, I’ve found that there does seem to be a bit of a structure I tend to follow.

After getting my story arc, I sit down and start writing the key plot events that have to happen to get me from each point in my arc (ie from the beginning to the middle bit, from the middle bit to the end).  I use what I’ve learnt from my characters to determine not only the events that happen in the ‘big picture’ of the world, but also what happens for them personally.  Sometimes I’ll do a ‘plot event’ list for their personal journey as well as for the ‘world’ journey.

There are lots of theories on what plots should be like, but I follow a simple one of ‘there’s a problem, someone has to fix it, someone will try to stop them from fixing it and things will get worse until they get resolved at the end’.  Once again, I’ll think about this on both the world and the individual level.

I find that this is really helpful in terms of reducing my panic about whether or not I really have a story.  I just wish that I would remember that when the writing demons emerge!


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