Monday, May 18, 2015

Making My Plot Board

I've been inpsired recently by stuff I've seen on Pinterest about Plot Boards. Up until now I've tried to plot everything in my head and only write it down when I absolutely needed too. Obviously this is a very bad habit. So I decided to try out one of these plot board ideas that I've seen around and figure if it can help me move forward in my plot.

There are many, many ways you can go about making a plot board. I've heard that there are programs you can buy that will do it on the computer for you. But I'm currently on a strict budget so I opted for physical alternatives. I've seen some rather crafty people make their own board to organize their plot notes. Some people use a white board and some people just put sticky notes all over their walls. I decided I would go with a corkboard and pin post-it notes to it. I obsessed over this project for days until I could finally get to Walmart and buy everything.

I Bought:

1 24x36 inch bulletin board

4 pads of white Post-It Notes (much cheaper than buying different colors

1 set of Post-It "Flags"

I Also Used:

some highlighters

thumb tacks

favorite pens

plotting notebook

The purpose of a plot board, however you do it, is to get rid of all the stuff that's clogging up your thinking process. If you let plot ideas sit in your head they take up space. So if you're head is full of old ideas there's no room for new ideas. See? That's why you need a plot board. It's a good place to organize your ideas and see if there are any plot holes or arcs that you might not have noticed while they were sitting up there in your head.

I've figured out that I'm very much a planner, so once I happily bought everything and took it up to my room I had to stare at everything for a good hour before I had decided how to organize it. I have a changing setting in my story, plus six characters (at the moment) that participate in the plot. So I decided that I would arrange my plot board in a timeline left-to-right fashion. The left side would be where the story started and the right side would be where it ended.

I assigned highlighter colors to each character/setting and made a master list of those assignments in a seperate notebook. If I didn't have enough highlighter colors I assigned a colored flag to the minor characters. I took ideas from the plot notebook I have been keeping and got to work filling up the post-it notes. Each note represented an idea for a scene or an already formulated scene in the plot. I wrote them all out and then arranged them in chronological order from left to right in the line assigned to the note's character or setting. I wrote down any stray plot ideas and placed them along the timeline as well.

Isn't it beautiful? Now I got the chance to stand back and look at what I had so far. I was so proud of myself! A few months ago I could only say I had an idea for a story. Now look! I have part of a plot actually physically written down! Inwardly, I was doing the happy dance. Outwardly I probably still looked intensely serious as I studied my plot board.

Because my Dad has an aversion to putting holes in the walls I couldn't actually hang my beautiful board on the wall. But I have a lovely stool for it to sit on for now. The board's organization will probably change in the future, but for now it's important that I've done something to help myself move forward.

So how do you guys organize your plots? Do you have boards like I do or do you use your computer? I'd love to hear the different ways I could organize this plot board. I hope you all enjoy and have fun with your own! If you posted something about your own board I'd love to see it. Leave a link in the comments and I'll come visit.








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