The rule of 3 for plotting

I hate plotting. Every time I try to plot, I end up changing every scene as I go along. I even got annoyed with an agent blogger who basically said you have to plot to be successful.

And then I came across my new “stop over thinking” mantra and the rule of Three.

The two came together into my new plot plan.

I have my basic general outline that most books follow. (It’s a combination of The Hero’s Journey from Vogler and what I believe is Carolyn Greene’s Plot Doctor workbook, but I got it from this blog post on Romance University. I can back plot my books into this and generally hit all the highlights, sometimes  it helps me find my holes).

The new plan is use the rule of three in terms of planning. What are the next three scenes going to be? This gives me more flexibility yet I still know what is coming up and can avoid the “I don’t what the next scene” angst.

Do you plot or pants? Any tips for having my plotting skills work out better? Or is this just how I’m designed to write?

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4 thoughts on “The rule of 3 for plotting

  1. I’m not sure how detailed other authors are when plotting, but I know when I take the time to plot correctly for me, the writing goes a lot more smoothly. Mostly I just want a list of settings, characters and ground I want to cover for each chapter.

    I think problems arise in plotting when a writer tries to get too specific. As with a road trip, you always want to know where your destination will be…but you’re not locked into ONE way of arriving there. I think if chapters are treated like their own little book…you have a starting point, and the place you want to wind up at, along with some general notes as listed above, that’s all you need. It’s just a guideline, leaving plenty of room for detours.

    I highly recommend How To Write Fast (While Writing Well) by David Fryxell. I just ordered my second copy from Amazon because it’s no longer in print. But I hadn’t seen the original since moving to my house almost four years ago and, periodically, I need the information he offers in the book. :)

    • Thanks. I will try to find that book. sounds like it is a very good book to read.

      I’ve been trying to find Carol Greene’s book she was known as the Plot Doctor, but it seems to not only be out of print but unavaiable.

      Thanks for all your tips Kristy. I’m loving learning about structure the last half of this year and hope to learn more next.

      • It’s a very good book…the best I’ve ever read for better writing. It only cost about $10.00 (including shipping) on Amazon, and I got it within days of ordering it.

        Gosh, you are right about the Plot Doctor not being available. I couldn’t find mention of it anywhere. I hate it when I can’t get a book I want. :(

  2. I like your “Rule of 3 for Plotting.” Good idea, for sure. And Kristy offers some great advice. I’m basically a pantser, but when collaborating, we plot out the whole book, then plot out each chapter. Then we each take certain chapters to write and are free to embellish. So I guess I’m a combination! Have a great Thanksgiving, Asrai.

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