I’ve been putting together ideas for new projects. Plus, I’m working on the second book in my Pet Rescue mystery series.
The first one has been scheduled, by the way. It will be a March 2011 release, and its title is BEAGLE MANIA. That reflects that some of the animals rescued from a puppy mill in that story are beagles.
Book number two will involve an animal hoarder. I’m still working on its title, as well as plotting the entirety of the story, but I’ve started writing it, too.
So how do I start plotting a book? It varies, but it always starts with an idea. And several baths, since thatâ€™s where my subconscious mind seems to plot best. I usually know who the protagonist is, but I have to figure out what kind of situation to put her in that fits the type of story–mystery or romance. And then I need to determine how best to stick in all the elements of the genre that keep the plot moving toward the satisfying conclusion. Along the way, of course, there are always pitfalls and conflicts and plot points to turn things in a different direction. What do I do with all this? I write a synopsis, sometimes for selling the idea and sometimes just for myself, so I know where Iâ€™m going with the story.
I don’t always stick minutely to the synopsis, but at least it gives me a direction. And when I’m stumped, I always refer to it to guide me back on the plot I’ve plotted!
I’ve plotted a lot of books in my time, and hope to plot a lot more. Sometimes, it’s easier to plot fiction than to plan one’s own life!
Linda O. Johnston is the author of 15 romance novels and several novellas, including a current Nocturne Bites, with 2 more Nocturnes upcoming. She also writes the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.