Finally Learning to Plot

As followers of this blog will likely already know, Murandy Damodred and I are pantsers when it comes to writing, which means we tend to write by the seat of our pants; wild and free, without much forethought. Over the years, however, we’ve learned a few things from plotters, those who plan out every character, story beat, and setting meticulously. Nowadays, I would say we fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, though the amount of planning we do on any given project tends to vary.

Our most recent book, for example, had no planning involved whatsoever. Mirror’s Fate, the fifth and final installment in the Mirror World series was easy and perhaps even better to write this way as we were dealing with an established setting and cast of characters that we knew very well. We put them in a familiar point in time with a new spin on events and we were curious to see where they would take things from there, which ended up working out spectacularly. If you’re a fan of the series I encourage you not to miss this stunning conclusion to the story upon which we founded Mirror World Publishing and if you haven’t started the series yet, go and check it out. The first book is Mirror’s Hope, which you can find here:

In contrast, our upcoming project, which we’re about to start writing this Sunday in fact, has been all planning and plotting so far. The technique and discipline of doing so, however, is something that I am still learning. Something that’s been a big help with this is a new writing program Murandy and I have been using: Dabble Writer.

We used Dabble to write Mirror’s Fate and I used it to edit Uncommon and now we’re setting up our next project in there. Dabble is a cloud-based writing software which allows for co-writing while also having a number of useful features specifically designed to help writers. It has integrated goal-setting features for word counts, a distraction free mode, automatic chapter and scene breaks, and a notes and comment feature.

And that’s just for the writing portion. For planning purposes, it has folders and pages where you can sort out your notes and a scene-by-scene breakdown where you can sort out your plot and move stuff around. Gone are the days where I have to write out each of my scenes on sticky notes, put them up on the wall just to see the big picture, now I can do it all online in the same place and have easy access to my planning without ever leaving my manuscript.

If like Murandy and I, you think you would benefit from such a tool, I recommend checking it out.

That’s all for this week, stay tuned for the launch of Sex, Bugs & UFOs by Warren A. Shepherd next week, or pre-order the book now from our store:

2 thoughts on “Finally Learning to Plot

Add yours

  1. I still use sticky notes. LOL! Glad to see you two are budding plotters. Wink. Great post, and thanks for the writing advice! All the best with your books. Cheers!


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