Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hunting for Treasure

Writing a romance is like supervising a treasure hunt. After you pick a setting, story theme, hero and heroine, you select a starting place for the plot and go.

Along the way you discover their friends, mentors and antagonists. They can ramble until they find a sure-footed path or two, or run pell-mell into obstacles and disasters. You can channel them into plot canyons with only one way out, or drop them into a vast wilderness and accompany them on their quest.

A simple tool to frame the rest-stops on your treasure hunt is the following set of sentences. Answer them and you'll be well on your way to a winning story.

Once upon a time there was ___. 
Every day, ___. 
One day ___. 
Because of that, ___. 
Because of that, ___. 
Until finally ___.


  1. Ah, if only I was as organized as that, I'd have a lot easier time writing! :) Usually my stories start off somewhere in the middle.

  2. Good analogy! My characters have been wandering in the wilderness but I think their treasure hunt is almost over now!

  3. What a great comparison. I like your short list of questions, too. That really kind of sums up a book, doesn't it?

    I do tend to write all over the place, but the questions make a nice map to look back at once the book is complete to make sure I'm not missing any pieces.