Hunting Cookies and Plotting

My current WIP bears greater resemblance to a tangled rat’s nest of ribbon and string than it does to any kind of ordered tapestry of all the elements of story working together. And you know when you start writing from the beginning AND the end simultaneously you’re really in trouble.

So anyway, then I found this great post through a post by Kate Nolan, which led me to “Coaxing Out the Magical Cookies” by Susan Dennard.

I highly recommend you go and check it out for yourself and then head out on a “cookie expedition,” but to give you the gist, the “magical cookies” are the essential reasons you wanted to write the story in the first place, and then the scenes you just can’t wait to write.

If you’ve been reading this post, you know I’m what’s often considered a “pantster” or what I like to refer to as a “Gardener.” In most areas of my life, I love being über-organized, and usually I am. I have a plan A, B, C, and D for most everything, and lists are my best friend … until it comes to writing, where for some reason, I like to work much more organically. Which gets me into trouble sometimes (see Exhibit A, the Great Rat’s Nest, aka my current WIP.) That said, I’ve come to a point where I know everything can be worked out in revision, and that sometimes, for me, coaxing out the story means going on the ride with my characters and sometimes going places I wouldn’t have considered or come up with if I’d tried to outline. (Or perhaps that’s my excuse … I’m also notoriously impatient, so getting directly to the writing works best for me.)

So where does this leave us? With a short blog post and a tiny note of advice that’s kind of stuck for me: Write what you love. Write the book you’d love to read.

Which is what I’m off to do right now. Well, after I dig out a few more of those cookies and figure out exactly where I’m heading again. 🙂

What about you? How do you write? And how do you get yourself out of trouble when you’ve written yourself into a tangle?

Thanks for reading, and hope you’re having a terrific week.