I plot as I go. Tweaking things as I get to know my characters. Knowing each event in their lives is going to change them a little... Knowing that occasionally, they will reveal things to me about their past that I'll have to incorporate into the growing story. This is how I do things...
This is my way.
And I consider myself a plotter. I like to have the basic storyline down before I start. I like to know, especially, where my characters will be when the novel is complete.
I finished reading Dodd's Chosen series yesterday. It's a four book series about a family of shifters from Russia with an ancestor who made a pact with the devil [literally].
Okay, let's just say, this project MUST have taken a lot of plotting. I never thought about it while reading other series, but there's just no way an author could start this story without detailing more than just a beginning and end. We're talking 4 siblings, four books yet ONE villain. So every scene, besides bringing the heroine and hero together in one book, must bring the family closer to winning this battle against evil. Seems really thready to me... the trick is to keep track of all the loose ones. Make sure they all get tied off in the end.
So, [in review style] I only had one issue with the ending of the fourth book. [and this is where the spoiler alert really comes into play...so don't keep reading if you haven't read the books and a surprise ending is important to you... DO YOU UNDERSTAND???? STOP NOW!]
The final H/h in Dodd's series, Doug Black and Firebird Wilder have a REALLY interesting story. After finding out she's pregnant with Doug's baby, Firebird also discovers that Doug is a shifter, a Varinski--the family who made a pact with the devil and wants to kill all of the Wilder family. She runs home, filled with guilt for possibly leading danger right to her family's door. Well, two years later, Firebird understands that in order to save her family, she must call upon the man she thinks wants to hurt them.
You know where I'm going with this don't you?
So, they reconnect...they still share a passion that is the heart and soul of them. One thing leads to another and they both ride a roller coaster of emotion that leads to the ultimate battle between good and evil.
Now here's the quirk [you must be thinking, FINALLY!]. I think the H/h relationship should have been resolved before the battle with the devil was fought by the family. It felt a little disappointing to have the awesomely staged conflict end, but not have the H/h run to each other... you know, like in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. [yeah, yeah. i know it didn't get great reviews, but I liked it] So, in review style...i would have resolved Doug and Firebird's issue BEFORE the battle. Cuz afterwards... it was weird. They talked for a few pages. Bam!, clearing up the do-you-really-love-me issue.
Also in true review style, i give all of these books 5 martinis. Very well written. Loads of passion...loads of conflict... Everything a romance reader[and writer] wants. :D
Back to the plotting. I commend you, Ms. Dodd. You rock. Thank you for putting such a wonderfully intricate plot together. One that kept me begging for more with each turn of the page. One that inspires me to make sure my stories will do the same thing for my readers.