Writing Process Wednesdays, and, Plot vs. Character

Well, now I know where I stand on that famous debate, even though I was trying hard not to take sides while I plotted out my novel as I thought I was also getting to know my characters at the same time.  Wrong.  I find, personally, that it takes writing some scenes and bits of dialogue over and over again for me to understand how each individual character feels, behaves, speaks, and changes over time.   

This makes planning out such a complex novel as Who By Fire much less simple than I had imagined, and I find that it seems to be, currently, beyond my writing skills.   I continue to work on honing my craft, of course, and to work on plotting out this novel, while remembering that it         whobyfireiwilltmpcover

comes based on all of my prior work.  Also, having the very positive experience of writing and getting surprisingly strong feedback both for this novel project idea that I developed from my family history research, and especially for my short short series (which I wrote completely off-the-cuff, and found both easy and pleasurable to write) more so but perhaps also with the help of the novel journaling process, in a different way than I had expected.  The series: BchrFancySaleBigger (Ann and Anna) was so easy, and even fun(!), to write that it now makes me wonder how on earth I can keep slogging my way through Who By Fire, which is proving to be so difficult for me at the moment.  Every time I think I know my protagonist, Isaias (whose name will later change…), he changes!  He still looks mostly the same, IsaiasPicPg sort of, but his way of thinking keeps changing on me, and I am having a very difficult time nailing down how he interacts with his two best friends (who were initially meant to be a mentor or advisor type, and a ‘particular friend’ as they used to say back then, or a best friend, who was also a rival for a love interest that has now turned into a cautionary tale subplot protagonist.  All of this with old scenes written that now need to be either altered or simply thrown away and rewritten altogether, which is hard to do, given that I am a person who values productivity and hates to see time and effort go to waste (yes, I know that that effort did not go to waste, but it feels like the time I spend writing initial scenes, voice journals, and novel journals, indeed are a waste of time since they do not end up directly in a publishable novel that I can immediately begin querying!!).   I think I am starting to realize that Who By Fire is currently biting off just a bit more than my writing skills to this point can chew, and I am itching to go back to Ann & Anna, make that series of posts into a prequel for a novel (especially since several people have called the series “#NovelWorthy” (which I had never heard of, many thanks, ladies) and just take off from there, if a novel based on an already blog-posted (and thus published, which I also did not realize back then serial can be shopped for publication?


Thoughts, Writing-Knowledgeable  Readers?


Action Items:

1.) Share your thoughts, please.

2.) Write a story, post or comment that uses those thoughts.


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector, Sihirli AnnemLupin, or La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic College Algebra & GED/High School Lesson Plans,

Thoughtful Readers, please consider reading about #ProjectDoBetter.  This novel is my personal way (as opposed to founding the Project, overall) of contributing to building tools that can help increase empathy and compassion in our world.  Story, as part of how we see our world, helps us make sense of and define our actions in this world.  And remember how important story is also as part of this project. Let’s Do Better.

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS



Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


11 thoughts on “Writing Process Wednesdays, and, Plot vs. Character

  1. I strongly agree with your view on characters, they change. I was writing a longer story (just for me, nothing I will ever share) and one character started behaving strangely. I didn’t know why, until I found out that he had a secret drug addiction. 😉 🙂 I think one can safely say that the characters take over at a certain stage … if one lets them.

    I loved Anne and Anna, but you didn’t publish the entire story here, did you? So no reason not to publish it as a novel. I would love to read the entire story.


            1. Most agents and publishers will not accept work that has already appeared on a blog, or on Wattpad, or elsewhere online. So the rest will need to be written as a separate story (which is why I am calling what I have already written a Prequel), and not posted anywhere, except for very small bits, like the logline or the tagline.

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