Struggling with the Plot

When I’m writing, I always plot out an entire story before starting. The three-act structure advocated by Michael Hauge works well for me. I’ve got two new books coming out this year with Soul Mate Publishing. The Taste of Her, and The Jury Scandal. Stay tuned for release dates.
I’m stuck, however, with the current story, Her Faithless Lover.

For my first couple of manuscripts I scribbled out several long-hand pages on a yellow pad, and that seemed to work pretty well. Then I tried using Scrivener but gave it up. I even bought a how-to book. I couldn’t get the program to do what I wanted. So I decided to go old school for this manuscript. I wanted to create the plot in such a way that I could view the entire story. Here’s what I produced: 2014-04-21 08.51.12
It’s not as messy as it looks, but I hit a stumbling block after I’d written about 40 pages.

This story is romantic suspense, and one of the cardinal rules for any type of romance genre (I’ve been told) is to keep your main character likable. The problem I realized was that I had her committing adultery with her cousin’s husband. Bad Move. I took the advice of several fellow authors and changed it so that she’s in lust for him, but never acted. And that was fine, except I had her become pregnant and her lover was likely the father. Getting rid of her adultery changed the whole plot.

Now I was kinda stuck with less conflict, less problems for her, and no villain in the plot. Rats! The next step was to go back and create a threat to her husband, a homicide detective. That’s wasn’t too hard, but I’ve got this whole plot to do over. Rats, Rats, and double rats.

Sadly, the weather has finally turned beautiful in New Orleans, and the distractions are legion. Next weekend Jazz Fest starts, and while I don’t plan to attend, I live too close to the Fairgrounds. That means BIG traffic jams with lots of foot traffic and no place to park if should go out. My driveway saves part of that, but we have four cars for the crowd living in my house (my two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and adult grandson). Worse, people walking and talking outside has my three dogs bark at them here beside my computer. The shortage of peace and quiet almost makes writing impossible.

Enough of my bitching. If you’re a writer, tell me how you rework your plots when you hit a stumbling block. And if you’re not a writer, good for you. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

4 thoughts on “Struggling with the Plot

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