Raquel Byrnes

~Edge of Your Seat Stories~

At a Crossroads

Photo by MarkSmallwood

I used to love those, Choose Your Own Adventure novels when I was a kid. The seemingly endless ways I ended up dying in the desert was so fascinating to me. 

Flash forward to my current work in progress and I'm back staring at a scene and trying to visualize the countless iterations of, If This...Then This...

And its driving my batty.  

I am not a pantser. I am a planner, outliner, plot-block follower type of writer. But something about this character's arc has me constantly straying from my original plans.  Not a bad thing at all. But a dilemma nonetheless.

She's not so much at a fork in the road as a crossroads. Four possible actions that could lead her to the same conclusion, but by wildly differing paths. I tried to knock one or the other out but keep getting stuck.

I didn't want to waste days, maybe weeks writing out a scenario only to get to the middle or (gasp) the end and realize that it didn't sit well with me. So, being a former computer nerd, I decided that what I need is an IF/THEN flowchart.

I started it yesterday and you know what? I feel like its totally working. I already realized a certain decision didn't make sense and eliminated it. Being able to visually see the path a choice takes the character on is really helpful.

A sample (incomplete)...

I know this may seem simplistic to some, but boy did it get me out of a tough spot. I was spinning my wheels until a simple brainstorming exercise helped me literally see how one path was better than the other.

I am primarily a list type of person so this is new to me and I really wanted to share it with all of you. Sometimes thinking inside the box(es) is what you need to do to push forward. 

Anyway, until next time...Go Write!

7 comments:

A clever way to find your path through your plot.

 

Susan's right, that was really clever. But I don't have enough computer skills in my toe to do that. *sighs*

 

Sometimes it's the simple things. Creating that chart makes sense to me. I like visuals as well.

 

Thank you, Susan, Kittie, and Alex for your words of encouragement. :) So glad you stopped by.

 

Awesome way to use your tools Raquel. Thats a neat idea, one I doubt I ever would have come up with.

.......dhole

 

Oh, how I wish I could be more organized in my writing. Total sotp!

 

Hi Raquel, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/