I’m thinking about my new WIP in terms of scenes and am trying to plot the whole thing out before jumping into the writing. My typing fingers are getting itchy, but I’m going to be patient.
Throughout this plotting process, one of the things I’m thinking about is when everything happens. In my initial NaNo draft of the story, the *Catastrophic Event* happened five years before. The draft opens with the MC getting pulled over for drunk driving on the anniversary of *Catastrophic Event*. Her life is in shambles because of it. Then *Another Catastrophic Event* takes place to really kick off the story.
But, what if the reader was there for *Catastrophic Event*? Would they feel for the main character more? Or would it just be more shock value? Would it make the story more interesting, more real, have higher stakes? Instead of looking back, the whole story would be looking forward.
Julia uncovers a family secret, so there is a lot of looking back in her story, which is why I’m sensitive to it now. Do I only want to write about stories that happen in the past?
Deciding when to set the story would really help me move on with in scene development. Right now, I’m trying to develop both stories simultaneously to see which one works better, but I’m getting more confused. I love meeting characters that wouldn’t otherwise be there, but I also love the scene where she gets pulled over. One book has a fresh-faced MC being crushed, the other has a world-wary MC casting off her burden. Choices, choices…
Do you find yourself writing the run up to or the aftermath of *Catastrophic Events*? Which do you prefer reading?