Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, May 06, 2013

May: Plot Hole Month

This may well be the toughest month for me. 

Plot Hole Month. I'm picking through Years of Stone just one last time. The whole story resonates complete. I just want to doublecheck that my characters really are the feisty characters they say they are. That they aren't fighting their way out of a paper bag. That they really do cliff hang to achieve their goals.

I'm using James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure to guide my work.

By Sunday, I want to identify 3 scenes that need rewriting in Section 1. As Deidre follows Mac to 19th Century Van Diemen's Land, is she a woman who faints or fights? How exactly does she make friends in places high and low? As Mac is pulled into the prison system, does his temper again place his survival at risk?

Have I sacrificed internal conflicts (which we all have) for obvious, external obstacles? Do these conflicts and obstacles really challenge my characters?

Are any characters or scenes superfluous?

I also want to draft a MARKETING PLAN that cuts through the conflicting advice online and lets me know exactly what I need to do by when. 

Some say the first step is in setting up a PRODUCTION PLAN (final book editing, cover design, target audience, print plan, distribution plan) with target dates. This Production Plan supports and drives all other promotion which can then be divided into a pre-launch phase, actual launch, and a post-launch phase. Each one of these phases can have many steps. Some writers launch without a plan at all.

But coming up with a good production/marketing plan is the business side of being a writer. I've heard groans, gnashing of teeth, and sighs. Who wouldn't simply tell stories? I can't speak truly to what impels anyone to write. I only know that so begins the morning. Younger writers may be cautioned to go the traditional route. But I'm an older-than-average writer. And I'd like some readers to read my work. Each novel takes me about three years from idea to finished story.  It's time to let these first two books venture out in the world.

If you're a writer, what are your preoccupations for this first and lovely real month of Spring? What essential steps would you include in a Production/Marketing Plan?

My work space (Camp 2013)