Status: Nearing the halfway point of the series
I mentioned in one of my comments on our blog that I hit a point last week where I needed to step back and re-plot some of the major events in my nine-book series.
I usually do this about three-quarters of the way through a single book. However, with this series, I'm doing more plotting than usual (hard to believe, I know!). And this re-plotting happened just short of the halfway mark in the series.
Re-plotting is one of the times I take advantage of tools and techniques I've learned in classes/ presentations, or read in books--most of the time mutated to fit my own unique writing process.
I had lots of great action events--explosions, fires, one of the main characters getting shot--lots of "stuff" going on, but it seemed to be getting mired in circles rather than moving forward.
I realized I hadn't dug deep enough to show the building tension and rising stakes behind these actions for both the main characters and the villain/antagonist.
So for each major action event, I listed the steps that led to each event--arranging them from simply irritating to the last straw that led to an extreme reaction--and what motivated the main characters and antagonist to react as they did.
This process of re-plotting gave me a clear direction, some additional ideas for plot twists and surprises, and kicked me back into intense writing mode for several of these books--at least for now.
Since this series is fairly complex, I'll probably be re-plotting several times over the course of writing these books. How about you? Does your writing process involve stepping back and clarifying--or changing--the direction of your plot? Or do you know your direction with certainty from the time you start writing?