It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

For those of you who are writers that follow Spellbound Scribes, we are now approaching our feature on plotting!

I always envision my book like a Christmas tree. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, bear with me…you’ll still get it! My plot is like a Christmas tree without its fancy glass ornaments that make it festive and bright – everyone’s tree starts off the same, but in the end, after all its adornments, it becomes special and unique.

That’s how I view plots. It’s not to be confused with the story or it’s characters. Usually, it’s what allows the characters to make (or not make) choices. In my Travelers Series, I can sum up my plot into a nice one sentence summary: A group of individuals who form a rebellion against a evil tyrant. Yeah, I told you it was simple enough.

After that comes the lights on the tree – you can chose clear or colored lights, your choice. That’s the story. My twinkling Christmas lights are the different realities and time-travel concepts that my characters must face in order to defeat the villain in my tale (i.e. conflict). In this instance, my series is character driven, rather than plot driven, so I usually have plenty of string lights.

What about the ornaments? Those are my characters. Some are big and shiny, others small and matte. Depending on my mood, I can either coordinate ornaments (or characters) to compliment each other, or just put them up at random.

And what about the star? – or angel, or Santa Claus. Again, whatever suits you. That of course is the resolution. Sometimes I like to think of it as the icing on the cake, or the cherry on top.

But back to plotting. For me, it’s one of the easiest parts of writing a story (all I have to do is buy a tree, right?). I’m a die hard pantser (writer speak for: “I don’t do outlines”), thus allowing my characters to face their conflicts in whichever way they deem appropriate, but as far as plot goes, I control the strings. It’s about the only thing I have total control over – do I buy a Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, or an imitation tree from Target?

6 thoughts on “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

  1. Shauna Granger says:

    Brilliant analogy, chica! Building a story like building a Christmas tree, I love it! Also, I’m a total panster too, I don’t understand these outliner people. I mean, once you outline, you’ve already told the story, yes?

  2. Love that analogy! Plot is all about the layers. It’s no wonder we can have a million books on the same subject, and still have fans who love one but hate another. I am a total outliner, so phhhbbbttt at you, Shauna! 😉 To be honest, my outlines are very loose and change while I tell the story, so it doesn’t feel like I’ve already written the story. I think an extensive outline would feel that way to me, though.

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