Plotting Board Fun

I know I drive one or two (or most) of my writing friends crazy with my plotting habit. But, hey, it works for me 😀 And I’m a big believer in using whatever works.  So I gladly embrace my big white board, my color coded sticky notes and the same mechanical pencil I’ve plotted over 20 books with.  In the last few years I’ve added the Venn Character chart, because it helps me to be able to see a constant visual of the characters information in  a huge format.

ASS4 Venn Character board

SEALed With A Kiss Venn Character Chart

I’ve posted before on My Three Story Starters, or the three things I have to know in order to write a story. So I thought maybe I’d give you a peek at one of them here, the Venn Character Chart for my current WIP, SEALed With A Kiss.  As you can see, there’s not a ton of info there- but enough to keep me on track with the specifics. More than anything, this character chart serves two purposes.  First, it lets me brainstorm and get a feel for my characters.  Secondly, it’s a reminder once I get past page 100 of the details I might lose as I get deeper into the story.  As I write, I’ll jot names on this, setting details, any new insights about their history, quirks, etc.

This chart gives me the handle I need on my characters (Story Starter #2).  I can’t write them unless I know them.

ASS4 Plotting Board

The other writing tool I love is my plotting board.  Not only is it comforting to see the scenes fill the board, giving me hope that yes, I do have enough to fill the entire book *g* but the pretty colors let me see if all parts of the story are solid in my head.  As you can probably tell from my chart so far, I’m a little slim on the pink sticky notes.  Which means I don’t have enough development for my heroine.  But… dum da dum, I figured out the issue today, so I’ll be able to add in those stickies over the next couple of days as i flesh her issues out.

 I’ll probably add to and tweak these charts for the next week or so, until I hit around page 100. Then, I’m almost ashamed to say, I pretty much ignore them for the rest of the book 😀  other than peeking at the character chart to make sure I’ve got the names right.

So… did I drive you crazy with my plotting color coding charting obsession?  


  • Teresa Hughes says:

    You didn’t drive me crazy, Tawny. I like hearing different tools and techniques that authors use. Since I’m writing my first book I am still trying to find what works for me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tawny says:

      YAY so glad I didn’t drive you crazy, Teresa 😀

      For years, I’ve taken every craft workshop and read every craft book I can find, pulling bits and pieces from each one to create what has become my writing process. I love discovering new ways to layer in clever new habits, but am so stubborn about holding onto the things I know work.

      I hope you find lots of ideas that help you find your process!

  • Beth Barany says:

    I loved your examples, Tawny! So cool! You didn’t drive me crazy. 🙂 But then I’m a novelist and am always so curious about other writers’ methods, especially the graphical tools, because I don’t use those.

    • Tawny says:

      Hi Beth 😀 Thanks so much and whew, glad I didn’t drive you crazy, either.

      Isn’t it fun hearing what works for others? I’m always intrigued by the various ways a storyteller goes from idea to The End.

      I’m so visual, graphical tools are the best for me. So is writing it by hand. I could recreate the boards on the computer or use a program such as Scrivener, but they just don’t click for me.