Sometimes you just have to map things out to know where you’ve been and where you want to go. I was stuck on a scene Just before the middle of my book. I knew what came before and after, in a broad “I already wrote it” kind of way, but I needed something more.
Out came the white board. In this case I wasn’t mapping a plot, but her progression through the story. I even colour coded it for my own at a glance convenience. It helped me make sure her journey was on track.
After all, in a story about magic, I needed to keep track of what she learned and could do, so I made sure I put in enough information and scenes about her learning, so she doesn’t just “know” something later that she wasn’t able to do earlier in the story. It worked. At a glance I was like “yes, that’s the missing scene.” I also found two more spots where I need to link segments of the ending together.
Now I have a clear path forward for that story. My “editor” is eager to read it, too. The next step is to “rewrite” the book with pretty language and vivid imagery, without being too boring, descriptive, and floral in my writing. A new challenge that I’m looking forward to.
Still, I learned two separate ways to chart my story now. My erotica was mapped with plot activities and whether they were positive or negative for the main character, and the young adult novel was plotted by character abilities. Both work, depending on the nature of the story. More tools for my writing toolkit. Who knows what I’ll be able to do in the future!
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.