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A to Z Challenge: B Day

Hey beautiful guys and dolls! Thanks for coming by again today.

Today's letter is B. B is for BUILD.

One thing I've learned learned about Plotting Your Novel, it takes a lot of BUILDING. Before, when I "pantsied" my way through my writing, I simply sat down and wrote. I let the characters and the action dictate how my story went. I'd be writing and all of a sudden a character would say something, or do something completely unexpected and a new idea leaped onto the page.

I loved it when that happened!

And that happens still. But when I plot out the major points, I've already BUILT the basic ideas. I have a directed place to move my character to. I still let the unexpected happen, but it's easier when I know where my MC is already headed. SO what if a new path opens up while I"m in the creative writing mode?

What do you BUILD while plotting?


Even if you are not writing a novel filled with mystery and secrets, you still need to BUILD tension with emotion and energy that is moving toward the final climax of the manuscript.

When the story opens, the reader needs to be grounded in the regular world the MC lives, but also remember to BUILD tension by foreshadowing the conflict he or she is about to enter.

By midpoint of the story, the reader needs to have a good grip on the conflict and emotional journey the MC has chosen or was forced to enter. BUILD the tension.

I enjoyed BUILDING my plot elements. If you haven't tried to Plot Your Novel, I encourage you to at least give it a try!

See you tomorrow:)


  1. Yes! I panstered my 1st novel - the characters are great, tons of feeling but the whole thing doesn't have direction. Now, I plot my stories 1st. I'm horrid at outlines (so forget those), but I sit down and work out the basic story idea and when things will happen and MAKE SURE it builds with a clear direction. Great B word!

  2. It's funny- the one book I tried to build like that- the very first day I sat down to write, the MC dared to do something completely unexpected and I had to tank the whole thing. :) Now I just sit down and write.

  3. And building characters! Plus their arcs.

  4. I enjoy building characters and their worlds. The rest builds by itself from there.

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Latest Post

    Twitter: @damyantig

  5. I love it when I don't even realize I'm building, it just flows!

    Great to see your post.

    Beth Lapin

  6. Interesting post. I like to know where I'm heading, but I don't always know how I'm getting there.

  7. I was a writing consultant for some introduction to creative writing classes a few years ago, and it really seemed like tension was one of the biggest challenges for the students to tackle. Without tension, the story has no reason to get moving.

    Michelle @ In Media Res


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