Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for Plotting

There was a time in my life, where me and my friends ended the night with Journey...specifically “Dont Stop Believing” This of course, is always better when you're completely drunk, and believe its socially acceptable to stand on tables and sing...not at karaoke. What can I say, we knew how to end a night. And I think in that year I did more damage to my liver than I have in my entire life.
 
Freytag's Pyramid on Plot
If I was to write a memoir, that could be a good place to end it, or a good place to start it. I think it would depend on what story I was trying to tell. I probably won’t ever write a memoir though, for a few reasons. One being I can’t sort out what story to tell. I can’t figure out which plot line to follow.

I’m a big fan of the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland quote “‘Begin at the beginning’, the king said gravely and go on till you come to the end: then stop’” It’s a good rule for writing, well a good rule for life really. I tell it to my boss at least once a week.

Yet, when you’re telling a story, you have to decide, where the beginning is, and where the end is. Often times these things are not all that clear cut. And more important, for any Journey, at least in a story, you need a plot.

Plots are things I struggle with, they tend to meander, and develop lives of their own, growing in organic and unexpected ways, and then I realize I’ve written 50,000 words and haven’t told a story. I think part of the problem is that my MC in my current WIP doesn’t actually know what she wants.

Recently I’ve decided to stop on the rewriting and go back to the conception stage of things, and try to figure out what my plot is. What my story is. Where it begins and ends. And perhaps more importantly, something left out of my Lewis Carroll quote, what the conflict is, cause no journey is complete without a conflict.

p.s. I never really announced my theme, but I’ve loosely been following one, any guesses as to what it is?

16 comments:

  1. My MC is the same way! She isn't really sure what she wants either, and it makes it hard to write the plot!

    Good luck with your rewrites!

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  2. I had a friend that loved Journey so much that after a while, I got sick of hearing about them. I mean, I enjoyed their music but come on...they weren't the most amazing band to grace the earth.

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    1. True. But you can't deny, its a good way to end a night.

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  3. I have a problem with endings and beginnings too. Especially during NaNo. Oh boy do I wander along the plot trail then.

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    1. I think that might be a large contributing factor, the WIP I'm editing right now is a Nano

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  4. Journey!

    LOVE that song :)

    ANd...I had a year in college too that killed my liver. Don't we all :)

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    1. I think its part of growing up...or at least thats what we tell ourselves.

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  5. I think it's your experiences! I like that simple formula in plotting, though I've come across much complicated ones that practically hold my hand through the process and I just can't do it. <--coming from a true blue pantser


    Elizabeth

    A to Z co-host<br

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    1. I've recently decided I want to try to be a planner, just cause I make a plan doesn't mean I have to follow it...right?

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  6. Sigh. I'm so with you on this one. I struggle with plot more than I do anything else.

    Journey though, man, they could belt out the hits. I tried to woo many a girl with my Steve Perry impressions.

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    1. How did that work out for you Rusty?

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  7. I fond plot the most difficult thing about writing. That's probably why I prefer writing poetry to writing novels. Thanks for the interesting post :)

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    1. Happy to entertain, thanks for stopping by. I'd write poetry if I was any good at it, but unfortunately I'm not. So I don't. Right up there with singing in public, there should be someone paying me not to.

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  8. Yes, plotting is so important...and difficult for me, too, Hope you are enjoying the challenge!

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