Sometimes I stay up hours past my bedtime reading a book to find out what happens next. Other times, I just stare at the book on my nightstand, hoping it will read itself.
What makes one book a page-turner, and another not so much? It’s a mystery.
Not entirely, though. I zoom through books when I care about the main character, the writing style engages me, and the story is intriguing. That’s where good plotting comes in. I usually plot by the seat of my pants. Outlining stifles my creativity. I dread writing scenes that are mapped out ahead of time. Still, this method requires a lot of rewriting. So I’ve investigated techniques for plotting that don’t require outlines. One method in particular speaks to me–make a list of the heart clutching moments (HCMs) in your story, and then connect the dots.
You can read the article about HCMs at Writers’ Digest here.
Plus, I’ve read many excellent books on the topic, such as Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
But I haven’t changed my evil ways entirely. Author, Cheryl Renee Herbsman (Breathing, Penguin 2009) captures my feelings exactly in this funny post called When Craft Attacks.