Plotting on the Parkway


Photo by C.D. Hersh

It’s getting kinda antsy at the C.D. Hersh household, because we’ve got book number five in The Turning Stone Chronicle series to finish plotting. We do our best plotting on the road and we don’t have any upcoming trips. Our paranormal romance series was conceived on a loooong, cross-country trip after we saw an exit road sign for a place called Turning Stone, New York. A bit of brainstorming and a series was born.

Plotting on the road makes the time go faster for Donald, who drives, and keeps Catherine (who writes the notes in longhand a lot of the time) from seeing all the crazy drivers tailgating us and zipping between semi-trucks and our safety zone. Nothing drives Catherine nuttier than watching an F-150 Ford with a full jump cab try to squeeze into a space that barely fits a smart car, without giving us a signal! She truly believes all the imaginary braking with her right leg, while in the passenger seat, contributed to her arthritis. Fortunately, we aren’t considering traveling anywhere near the Jersey Turnpike where everyone drives like maniacs, although we think quite a few drivers we’ve encountered must have had lessons from a Jersey driving school.

So what’s the point of this post, you ask?

Here’s a few things we’ve learned during our loooong drives:

  • Aging knees don’t like being cooped up in a car. Imagine that.
  • It’s really hard to read plot notes written months ago while driving on a bumpy interstate.
  • It’s even harder to write on a bumpy interstate road.
  • Catherine should really transcribe her notes as soon as we get home.
  • Especially when words written while driving on the buzz strips on the shoulder of the road make her notes look like an EKG reading.
  • The new flash stick recorder we got works better than the old-fashioned pencil and paper, although it does allow Catherine to still see all the nutso drivers, and when Donald transcribes the notes they’re not always coherent. Catherine’s a blonde. J BTW, she’s writing this, so don’t take offense, ladies.
  • We like plotting almost better than writing—or maybe it’s the traveling we like.
  • Donald plots very well—most of the time. However, Catherine always has to throw a few suggestions out the car window. Isn’t that what a collaborator is for?
  • We need more road trips because we have two more books left in this series.
  • Writing with a collaborator is fun!


How and where do you plot your books? Or do you travel—oops, write—by the seat of your pants?



About C.D. Hersh

Paranormal romance co-authors
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6 Responses to Plotting on the Parkway

  1. I often plot while on a genealogy road trip with my daughter, and my notes are just as unintelligible as Catherine’s, if not more so. It’s interesting to hear plot directions from someone who is a non-writer (of novels, that is). Family tree connections in the far past often lead to plots and subplots. Fun!

  2. Beth Carter says:

    Cute post. I always come up with new ideas while traveling, too. I often write half my notes in shorthand which I, sometimes, cannot decipher afterward.

  3. Excellent post! I do my praying and thinking on long drives. Sometimes, I come up with new plots, other times I iron out wrinkles in a WIP. Either way, the drive is a positive and healing experience.

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