Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Plotting Puzzle

I'm well past the halfway point in Her Make-Believe Husband, and it's breezing along. Writing a story is sometimes like putting a puzzle together. I have a dozen sticky notes and pages of one line reminders for things that I now need to thread through or wind up or go back and add to make the story cohesive.

I'm a completely linear writer - I go at the story from beginning to end - but then I go back and insert little details as I think of them. For example, I have four dogs in this story - two of them are "on camera" often, but I kept forgetting one of them, so I had to go back and figure out where that dog was all the time. Children and dogs are often a challenge to "direct" in a story.

I just got through a fairly research intensive chapter, not that I had to use that much research, but I had to know it to make the scenes believable. I have scenes at the 1882 Exposition in Denver, and I was disappointed that there were very few photographs to be found online. Pictures, as we know, are often worth a thousand words. If I can visualize it, I am there.

So I'm putting all the pieces together, Mariah and Wes, who are forced into a pretend marriage; John James, Mariah's son who believes Wes is his father (everyone believes Wes is his father, actually); Mariah's huge extended German family, who play a big part in the plotting and motivation; and the themes: loss of control, entrapment, damaging secrets.

Oh, this book is fun. Have I mentioned the hero looks like Hugh Jackman?


  1. I'm hoping to finally see Australia now that it's out on video. We never made it to the theater. I'm so impressed by the detail in your writing Cheryl. Especially the children and dogs comment. Does anyone besides me find it odd that on T.V. shows you hardly ever see the kids and they are the age that they need supervision?! Just a thought.

    We just got back from a whirlwind driving trip to Medicine Hat, Alberta last night. We left after church Sunday and drove over 500 miles so hubby could have a business meeting yesterday a.m. Then we drove all the way back home! Beautiful mountain scenery most of the way but very tiring! Thank goodness for my knitting! It's good to be home.

  2. Hi Cher,

    Cool picture puzzle! Where on earth did you find out how to do that? Don't worry about answering, I'm just praising. Is your new book a HH or a LI?

  3. Betsy, I saw Australia for $19.99 at the grocery store today, so I'm thinking it will be cheaper at Walmart or target - it will be mine!

    Yes, children are a challenge even in books. I can't imagine making a movie with real live kids - LOL. They're so unpredictable. I've always appreciated being around children often, because it keeps me fresh. I often write down things that they've said so I can remember the unique way they speak.

    What did you knit, Betsy?

    I can't remember where I made that puzzle Charlene. When I run across it again, I'll send you a link.

    My current WIP is an HH.

  4. I just finished a queen sized blanket for a wedding gift. I always make one for the kids at church who get married. They've all come to expect it. They even tell me what color but the pattern is traditional!

    Now I've begun a new pattern for me! It's a series of squares within squares. I'll see if I can take a decent pic tomorrow and send it to you.

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