Avoiding the Burial Plot
Nothing kills a story like a lousy plot. Unless you are writing a series, everything needs to be wrapped up by the end of the story. If your protagonist gets distracted halfway through the story and never revisits the original storyline, then you’ve just added another nail to the coffin. But enough about all of that. The plot I’m talking about is just as important.
Let me make it clear; I’m a jotter, not a plotter. When writing, I have a goal in mind, but that is usually it. I basically watch things play out in my head like a movie and then write them down. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The plotting that really kills my story isn’t my way of writing, however, it is my overall writing habits.
A plot is structure, and if your writing time is not well thought out, you are going to do as much damage to your story as if you change lead characters and goals in the middle of your tale. As with most of my posts, I know this from personal experience.
If you have a collection of “how to” books on writing, and they mention the art of preparing to write, I would strongly suggest rereading those chapters again. They ask questions like “when do you write”, “how long do you write”, and “are there any distractions when you write”. Since starting this blog, I have taken these questions to heart more than ever before. My main writing time is on lunch at my job, and then during the evening while I wait for my wife to get home from work. My writing time varies depending on what needs done around the house, but I can usually get in a couple hours a day.
It is the distractions that usually get me. My writing habits have no plot. I tend to lack focus and—much like writing a story—no focus gets me nowhere. The thing is, you just can’t plot out one aspect of a story, you have to plot it all out. I am working on that. I know where I want my story to end, I just have to figure out how to get there.
If you are still trying to figure out your plot, good luck with that.
Just thought I would jot this down.