This weekend, I focused on the plot of Born Not Made, and I’m almost done plotting the story out. I think. (I hope?)
I had part of the plot worked out before (I use the post-it method), but what I had before needed updated for a couple of reasons.
- I hadn’t worked on the story for a long time. Like a few years. (I feel so guilty writing that!) Looking back now at what I had planned, some aspects didn’t quite click as well as I probably thought they did years ago. And I had new ideas that needed worked in.
- It was too simple. The kind of story you might read if you like the characters and the writing style, but you already know “who done it” and aren’t particularly surprised at the ending. While I don’t know if I can manage to surprise anyone at the ending (that seems really ambitious for a first book), I’d like to at least make the plot a little more complicated to make it feel more worthwhile for the reader. Maybe surprising them by how the bad guy is revealed or caught rather than who it is (maybe).
That’s honestly the area of writing this that worries me the most – making the plot complicated enough.
I’m not thinking Robert Jordan or R.R. Martin-level complication. It is a romance novel after all. And, to be realistic with myself, I don’t think I’ll manage a Nora Roberts level plot the first try either. I’d like to, but adding the characters and scenes needed to give the book multiple potential villains is turning out to be pretty difficult. Especially since I want to do it without slowing down the story or making it feel forced.
I’m thinking I may have to write the full draft first and then go back and add some plot complications. Does anyone do that? Or am I trying to do this backwards?