I'm a MASSIVE plotter. I have huge admiration for Pantsers and the way they can jump into a new book and see where it takes them, but I don't have it in me to do that myself. I need to know what my book is, where it starts, where it ends and all the bits in the middle. And so I plot, plot, plot until I'm ready to start the first chapter.
Plotting can be pretty daunting. Where do you start? How do you transfer the messy jumble of ideas and characters from your head into a coherent plan? As a writer, I'm always learning new techniques and adapting the way I work, particularly when it comes to planning a book. One technique I've found incredibly useful is creating a short pitch.
The pitch starts with five points:
I'm going to use my upcoming book, The 12 Christmases of You & Me as an example to fill in the boxes:
I then use this information to write a short pitch:
The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a romantic comedy about single mum Maisie who finds herself travelling back in time to the Christmases of her teens and early twenties. She hasn't spoken to her best friend, Jonas in two years, and she decides to use the opportunity to fix the mistakes she made and save their friendship. But when history keeps repeating itself, Maisie has to learn to stop looking back and embrace living in the present.
This short pitch is incredibly useful because it will form the base of the rest of my plans, from the synopsis to the three-act structure that I'll work from when writing the book. Click here to see the next stage of my planning process.