In Martha Alderson's The Plot Whisperer, she encourages writers to identify the four energetic markers of their stories. The first one is the "end of the beginning", or the point where life for the main character shifts to new. The second is the "recommitment scene" where she forges ahead despite setbacks. Then there is the "crisis" where everything is out of control, which forces the main character to take control in a new way. Introspection happens here, which leads to the push and climb to the "climax" where the hero fights back, rebelling against the antagonist, and ultimately prevails. These four scenes, when created in a natural cause and effect flow, will make for an enjoyable, well constructed plot.
I've been applying these plotting techniques to my revisions lately, and it has made me see my writing process in a similar light. In my personal writing story, what stage of the plot am I at? I passed the "end of the beginning" a long time ago. That was my first draft, which subsequently needed major work. So after months of analysis and critique, I entered my "recommitment scene" where I chose to willingly edit and recraft. I forged ahead, and rewrote the whole thing. That led to more critique and analysis, which made me feel somewhat out of control after so much work already. Then I hit the "crisis". My story sucks. No matter what I do. Should I keep going at all? Is it worth it?
Luckily, I have the support of a wonderful critique group, who have an amazing knack for seeing what needs to happen. After ruminating on their suggestions a little while, along with serious introspection, I think I'm ready to start the climb. I've done some experimenting, created a plan, and I feel once again that I'm in control.
So now I'm climbing. Heading to the "climax". I hope all goes well, because this main character really needs to succeed. With my trusty band of rebels at my side, I'll write my story through to the end, come what may. And we all know the pen is mightier than the sword.
Writing for children is a passion - along with reading kid's books, writing plays for kids, and teaching kids how to write!