Monday, October 15, 2012

Relationship Arcs

As some of you know, I've been taking a course on plotting for pantsers by paranormal romance author Suzanne Johnson. I don't write paranormal romance, but the lessons are just as applicable to sci-fi and fantasy! She is taking us through several lessons a week which are helping me develop my basic plot ideas and characters. I am learning tons, but even if I wasn't, the course is keeping me accountable and making me actually get the work done.

One of the most interesting techniques she uses when plotting is planning relationship arcs. I've never thought of doing this before, but it makes perfect sense and is so helpful in defining the plot. What you do is take your main characters and match them up with every other character in the book and define their relationship at the beginning of the book and how it changes at the end (if it does change). You can also define the relationships between your supporting characters (the important ones, anyway), and this really helps to lay the groundwork for your novel.

It is a lot of list making, but I am already seeing the plot of my novel unfold as I work on this.

Have you plotters out there ever thought of doing this? What are some of your techniques?

If you are interested in reading more about Suzanne's plotting method, you can check out her explanation of it here.

12 comments:

  1. This course sounds really interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is fascinating. I am enjoying it!

      Delete
  2. I think about it when writing but I've never mapped out the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I did as well, but it is interesting to outline it beforehand.

      Delete
  3. That's a really great idea! I think I do this already, just not consciously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think every author does this, consciously or unconsciously :)

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the links! Sounds like a great class:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. That sounds like an awesome idea! The idea I'm likely to start working on soon (short story) only has 2 characters, so it's not so bad :)

    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that is nice! I guess you will REALLY get to know those two characters then.

      Delete
  6. I had a writing class that taught that a while ago, but I think I've gotten rusty/lazy since then. I'll be checking out that link because I think this is an area I need to work on specifically.
    Nice post!

    ReplyDelete