Latest Plot Board

To help track the various threads in my book during revisions, I made a new plot board. It’s probably the most complex I’ve ever made, due to the fact that it focuses on threads I wanted to make sure got their fair share of screentime, as well as plots and subplots.

Ah, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Until, of course, I start digging in there and rearranging stuff.

Posted in plot board, unicorns, writing life

22 Responses to Latest Plot Board

  1. Merry says:

    It looks great. I haven’t used a plot board yet, but your previous posts on the subject have been really useful.
    (It’s just unfortunate that the only place I have room for a board at the moment is on a different floor to the computer!)

    What are all the circular post-its for?

  2. Diana Peterfreund says:

    i ran out of colors, so I resorted to shapes. 😉

  3. Jessica Burkhart says:

    Must. Buy. More. Post-its. 🙂

  4. Marie says:

    As a certified pantser, I just broke out in hives. LOL!

  5. Diana Peterfreund says:

    Marie, why? the manuscript is WRITTEN already. Anyone can do this, no matter rhow they write originally.

  6. JenWriter says:

    Those are a lot of plot threads! I can’t wait to do this once I’m done with my WIP.

    Also, Diana, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but I just got around to reading your books over this past weekend. Both of them in one weekend. I love them! I seriously got drawn into the story and the characters. I couldn’t put them down! I can’t wait until the next one comes out this summer. 🙂

  7. Diana Peterfreund says:

    Thanks so much, Jen! You made my day!

    (Back to revisions…)

  8. Marie says:

    Even if the book is written, my mind doesn’t work in plot boards or any of the other tools others swear by. I love how everyone has such different approaches to the same craft.

  9. Jess says:

    Herm. Looks like the spamfilter missed one.

    Wow, that is nifty, but what does it MEAN? I’m going to check around your archives for a demystification of the plot board. It seems like something I would like to try for revisions when I get there (in June, in June, just keep telling myself, will finish the first draft by June)…

  10. Diana Peterfreund says:

    My curiosity has been piqued, Marie. So when you look at a scene from a book or a movie, can you say “in this scene, the romance/mystery/etc. has been advanced”?

    I don’t think of this as substantially different than writing an outline. The only tricky part, to me, is deciding at the beginning what scene threads I wish to track.

  11. Diana Peterfreund says:

    How strange! I haven’t had spam in ages.

    Jess, I would suggest searching under plot board, or just clicking on the topic heading under the post (or on plot boards in the left hand column of the blog page (“Popular Posts”). Basically, it’s a visual representation of my story, a sort of color coded synopsis.

  12. Carrie Ryan says:

    I’m also one of those who can’t put together a plot board even after the book is written. I tried and failed miserably 🙁

  13. Bill Clark says:

    Very pretty!

    I notice you took the picture from far enough away so there’d be no spoilers… 🙂

  14. Susan Adrian says:

    Yay, I’m on this stage too. Though I call it a Chapter Chart. 🙂

  15. Wendy Roberts says:

    Oh Diana, Diana *sigh* when will you just join the rest of us pantzers and write willy nilly without plot boards? LOL!

  16. Diana Peterfreund says:

    Wendy, are you teasing me? I can’t tell.

    People, the book has been WRITTEN. It’s done. It’s sitting in a huge stack on my coffee table. I’m doing revisions!

  17. ocannie says:

    I’m dying to know what the orange plot is!!! It’s all suspenseful seeing it there at the beginning, one brief appearance halfway through, then there at the end.

    Who am I kidding? I’m in suspense over the whole dang thing! 😛

  18. marie says:

    Diana, to answer your question, I could break down a movie scene the way you describe, but I don’t ever do that. Actually, it wouldn’t occur to me to bother :–))

    That said, it would be impossible for me to describe how my mind works as I plot by the seat of my pants and thoroughly edit as I go so I come out with a complete first draft that doesn’t undergo many revisions (other than line edits). When I was first writing, I tried doing color-coded index cards for various characters but found I never looked at them when I was writing. For the series I’m working on now, I have a notebook full of character traits that I wanted to be sure to carry forward. 25,000 words into the second book, I’ve barely glanced at that notebook I spent days putting together (while wondering if I would use it–question answered) but my characters don’t seem to be suffering as I seem to remember all their foibles. I just keep everything in my head and visuals don’t work for me at all. This is also true for my day job (which is an ass-kicker of deadlines on top of more deadlines)–I hardly write anything down, don’t make lists, and when I do, I find I rarely look at them. Since I still have a day job (and kids) on top of the writing job, I expect the head to explode at any moment! I admire your board. I don’t want you to misinterpret my comments from yesterday. Sometimes I think we pantsers feel inadequate next to the elaborate plotting and outlining that goes on around us. We feel like we’re doing something wrong because we don’t employ those tactics. That’s all I meant by the hives comment! Whatever works is the best thing for all of us! :–))

  19. Patrick says:

    I can’t look at that plot board and not think, that would make for a cool spread sheet. Then I could calculate things, like how many words each character said.

  20. Erica Ridley says:

    Since I am a storyboard addict, I am wholly jealous of the heart-shaped stickies and must hie off to Staples immediately to procure some of my own. (b/c, yanno, the eight million stickies I currently own are just so *square*)

  21. Kwana says:

    Oh it beautiful!!! I just love plot boards.

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