Thursday, April 10, 2014

No Wasted Space

Sometimes I read a novel by an author who is a MASTER at plot.  That’s what happened when I read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  In a PublishersWeekly article Rachel says that initially “several agents told her the equivalent of ‘You write beautifully.  If you ever figure out what a plot is, call me.’  Then she “rewrote the novel three times, with a new plot each time.”  I would sacrifice half my library to get a peek at those plot outlines!  So many writers struggle to master plot, myself included, that I desperately want to see the evolution of what she learned over those three new drafts!  But alas, right?  So I did what I always do:

I plotted out what Hartman did myself.  I took a look at her chapters in terms of Vogler’s hero’s journey because it seemed very appropriate to the heroine, Seraphina.  Pieces of the puzzle and where they were placed started making sense to me.  I even tried articulating what I saw as the main conflict.  I knew after I read Seraphina, there is no wasted plot time.  But plotting it out myself have me a much better feel for HOW Hartman did it.  (Ms. Hartman, half my library is still on the table if you ever want to show me your own plot outlines!)

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