S is for Subway (Other Cool Blogs)

Photo by José Martín Ramírez Carrasco on Unsplash

How do you get from HERE to THERE is always the question when plotting?

I’ve seen a lot of methods suggested: cards, white boards, outlining. I can now add subways to the list.

From the NaNoWriMo Blog, Gabriela Pereira wrote this gem on 11 October 2017 – NaNo Prep: Outline Your Story Like a Subway Map. (https://blog.nanowrimo.org/post/166302962291/nano-prep-outline-your-story-like-a-subway-map?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NaNo%2020%20Prep%20Engagement%205&utm_content=NaNo%2020%20Prep%20Engagement%205+CID_ae72b700e8d492dee88877b24bf8f113&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Outline%20Your%20Story%20Like%20a%20Subway%20Map – last viewed 11/19/2023)

The initial visual says it all. (Can’t copy it here due to how the visual is imbedded in the blog – so go there and look!)

First we have the three lines with their stops – it could be any of the ways people break down stories:

  1. Worldbuilding, character development, plot advancement
  2. POV distribution for a multi-POV story and what needs to be seen through whose eyes
  3. The plot lines – the thriller, the romance, and the personal growth
  4. And for the literary minded – the themes and imagery – when you need to bring in the blue curtains or revisit solidarity.

Then we have how the three subway lines interconnect – what are the “hub” stations – do all the lines meet at these stations or do just some.

To me, this has been the clearest way to visual a plot tool. I “get” this. Not every tool works for every one, but this one for me could be really useful.

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