For my latest revision, I’m working out some plotting and pacing issues. And, since I own bright neon mini PostIts, it was time to go to the magic board:

 

Main and subplots are listed across the top, chapters down the side, and each PostIt shows the event moving the plots forward. Things I’ve learned so far:

  • Some chapters need to be shorter. I think this is a result of writing middle grade but reading mostly young adult. Make sure you read in your genre!
  • Some chapters need to accomplish more and build on what came before. If I can move the PostIts and it doesn’t change anything about the next few chapters, the one in question needs to be changed or cut.
  • If a subplot doesn’t show up for a few chapters, it either needs to be further developed or cut altogether.
  • Sometimes, the focus just needs to be on the main plot. I love subplots almost as much as cake, but I’ve noticed the “big moment” or “revelation” chapters only have one PostIt, and I’m okay with that. Those chapters need to pack a punch, not be watered down with other issues.

Anyone have plot or pacing advice?

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