Diary of a Novel: plotting Acts I, II and III

front coverI picked up the story bible for The Beast Within at the weekend and was mortified to see I’ve not done anything practical since the end of May. Saying that, I have been reading.

I’m still on Writing the Killer Mystery by Ron D Voigts, Volume 3: Plotting the Murder. But I stalled when I got to the end of the book and didn’t know what to do next.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on other projects, namely the pocket novel and the biography. But The Beast Within has always been at the back of my mind, percolating.

At the weekend, I decided to go back to the beginning of the book and do some exercises as I finished each chapter. And the first chapter I could do that for, which I hadn’t already done any work on, was on a breakdown of what to include in each of the Acts.

I rattled away – well, scribbled away – in my book and managed almost four pages altogether for the first two Acts, and then I stalled again. I stalled at the “subplots/B-plot”, because so far I’d been concentrating on the murder/investigation timeline.

So then I spent another day or so whittling over that. (Whittling is a Yorkshire expression for worrying.)

My solution was to go back to the beginning of my story bible and read some of the back stories I’d created for the characters. And BAM! Five subplots presented themselves to me.

On Monday evening, I picked up the story bible again and added these five subplots to the end of Act II, and then I plotted Act III. The end of Act III includes tying up all the loose ends, and those five subplots were the loose ends. Plus, of course, the perpetrator being arrested and taken into custody.

One of the subplots/loose ends will lead into the next story in this series, Snowblind. But for now, I want to concentrate on The Beast Within as I’m hoping to have it as my NaNoWriMo 2019 project.

My next task for this project is to put the books to once side and write out my 30 or 40 scenes in the order that they happen. The end product, of course, may have them in a different order.