The Importance of Mapping or How to Avoid Losing The Plot

17 Feb


I am not renowned for my organizational skills so when I began my novel, I assumed that as I was the creator of all and sundry within it, it would be possible to meander along and eventually reach The End.

However, I now concede that this mellow approach can become problematic, especially as my novel has been a long time on the production line, having spent at least five years lying dormant in an old computer,

The value of planning and mapping out the story in advance became evident when I found myself having to look back to find out what my characters looked like; is she a brunet or red head? Is he swarthy or pale? …

Also the time span of events needs to be considered. Too much happens in a very short timeframe in order that the climax is reached on a designated day, such as Christmas Day, or the day the boat sails.  In my next draft I will have to address this but it could have been avoided.

Having identified the problems my lack of planning caused, I am now doing the following;

  • I have a file in which to keep details of the characteristics and appearance of the characters in my story
  • I have planned a chronological time-line of events
  • I have sketched a map of the story setting

Now that I am so very organized I can get on with writing the novel …


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