We went over mostly hooks last Thursday. So let’s get to plotting. There’s a saying I’ve always relied on this concept: Plot is not the story, it’s only the road map. The story is how your characters interact, react, and change because if they don’t change, the story can be pretty lame.
Now, what, exactly, does that mean? My male lead in Crazy for Trying, Adam Dorset, needs to clear his name and get back custody of his son. Finding out who really did embezzle money from Hightower Investments is tricky. He’d like the person he most suspects of framing him to not know that Adam is out of prison. However, he loses that option through no fault of his own. That’s the plot right there.
His emotions include anger that the real criminal is living a life he had to give up when arrested. He has anxiety about getting this whole mess resolved and being seen as worth to care for his 11 year old son again. Adam also is emotionally empty due to his wife’s death while he was in prison and having gon 5 years without female companionship. He’s pretty sure he loved Valerie, but fears it may be a reaction to her being the first sympathetic woman he has met since his release.
The paragraph two up is my plot. This it Adam’s quest and his why. There are a lot more details but we don’t really need them here. The next paragraph is how he reacts to the circumstances, how he interacts with Valerie, and his changes will include becoming positive about his love for her and acknowledging that he is a good person even if the crime is never solved. He knows the truth and that is all that matters.
Valerie has a different plot, obviously, even though as a nurturer, she takes on much of Adam’s plot to help him. She has no doubt about her love for him. She’s been alone for five years, since the death of her husband and son and unborn child. She’s not body confident enough to start dating, yet Adam shows up in her life with lots of suspicious details, but she chooses to believe him. Of course she has a touch of jealousy as she meets other women in Adam’s life. At least she is willing to talk everything over with him.
Even so, she has her doubts about him, worries about getting involved with the real criminal, and tends to withdraw into herself when things get crazy. Her change is that she learns to trust herself and push herself to her limits in the face of her fears.
What am I missing? Where do I need more action since this is a Romantic Suspense? These are the things keeping me awake at night. I’m going through the story from Chapter One, working to establish a Deep Point of View. I am working with my critique group to hammer out the story problems and holes, nearly at half way currently. Then around the end of the year, I’ll need beta readers. I will send it to the editor after that, then a series of proof readers, and finally, finally, my story will be ready for submission for publication.
That’s my personal plot. You may know from my blogs that I will react with hurt feelings at every negative remark and then get over it. This is my work now and I am dedicated to the process until the end.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.