Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pacing, and Why Kett Has Problems

Not just Kett the character, but Kett's book (which still doesn't have a definite title: another problem).

I bastardised Julie Cohen's plot chart to make this:

I know it's too small to see (also I don't want to actually give away the plot) but all the colours are relevant. The wide column with all the text outlines what happens in each chapter. The coloured columns list what they do. Orange is for character development, turquoise for plot development. The darker, the stronger. The next five (I ran out of clearly different colours) represent humour, drama/action, love/affection, lust/attraction, and hate/anger. This is so I can look at the book as a whole and see where the high and low points are.

For instance, chapter six appears to have some problems: it's high on plot development and exposition, but there's no character development, humour, drama, love, lust or hate. This means that chapter six is going to be pretty damn boring.

The purple column represents lust/attraction. You can see that Kett and Bael get off to a great start, but then there are big droughts where they barely even touch each other. This is a problem in a red hot romance. However, for the most part there's a lot of growing affection, and for many scenes there's drama which actually gets in the way of any naughty stuff.

The high point of hate/anger (the bright green on the right) represents the Black Moment. But look at all that crap that comes after it!

Methinks I need to do some serious work on this...


  1. Oohhh, I like this, never seen this sort of plot chart before.

  2. Now that is impressive!

    I hope it helps.

    PS Nice shoes.

  3. Yes, I'm a geek and I love charts and things. They help me procrastinate. But this one has also helped me go back and revise the chapters without enough of anything in them (eleven pages of plot with no sex, no action, and no laughs? Zoicks!).

    And I think my shoes are becoming more famous than me!

  4. Fair dinkum, Kate! I'm in awe (and more than a little intimidated by this. I'm such a non-plotter this makes me scared AND envious! Wow!

  5. Well, I'm a non-plotter too, which is why it's all such a mess! You're looking at two and a half years and 106,000 words of making it up as I go along. Eep!

  6. Anonymous8:11 am

    Hi Kate
    thank you so much for this post - I had to leave mid-day and was miserable at missing Julie's presentation.
    And I love charts too! Excel rocks...and I AM a plotter! LOL.
    I really should get out more.