In November 2020, my new educational book on narrative structure will be published by Brookes Publishing - Story Frames - Using Narratives to Improve Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Executive Function Skills for Struggling Learners. In Chapter eleven, I analyze the plots of several narrative non-fiction picture books including A Race Around the World: The True Story of Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland written by Caroline Starr Rose and illustrated by Alexandra Bye (2019, Albert Whitman & Company). In Chapter thirteen, I analyze the plots of several novels with historical connections including the verse novel, May B. (2014, Yearling), also by Caroline Starr Rose.
Although I examine books through the lens of narrative structure, many of the authors I discuss do not think of themselves as Plotters. Others have a plotting process very different from mine. Over the next several months, I will be interviewing many of them and talking to them about their writing process. The first author is Caroline Starr Rose, but before we get started with Caroline, let's clarify the difference between Plotters and Pantsers.
A Note about Plotters and Pantsers
Some authors think of themselves as Plotters, some as Pantsers, and others as something in between. Plotters spend a lot of time setting up a story before they ever start writing. They may organize scenes using index cards, create elaborate outlines, and have key beats or turning points in mind that they use to organize the events of a narrative. Pantsers tends to jump into a story and fly by the seat of their pants. They may come back later to refine the plot or not. Even authors who spend a lot of time researching a non-fiction topic may vary widely in the way they plot (or don't plot) their stories. Now let's find out about Caroline and her writing process.
1. Do you consider yourself a Plotter, a Pantser, or something else?