This month's topic is about how do I recognize and overcome plot problems or failures? It doesn't matter whether you are a pantser (just start writing and keep going until you finish) or a plotter (plan out everything before beginning to write) the story can change.
First off, I'm a bit plotter and a bit pantser. I start out with an idea but perhaps not an overall purpose, think about the characters and their personalities, and some of the pitfalls they will encounter in the story. It is usually a thread that keeps weaving through my mind until I start writing. Once I start writing, the rest just seems to happen, but during that process, the purpose or goal may change several times.
Continually rereading and rewriting 'finished' sections and chapters as a story progresses through the writing phase helps me recognize plot problems or deviations and allows me to change them before they become obstacles. While doing these multiple rereadings I often come across passages that need fixing or eliminating. Some sentences or paragraphs serve no function or the function I want them to, however, as an author, I can become too involved in my writing and miss important issues.
What types of issues?
Well, I know all description is important as it describes locations, character actions, and the character themselves. It also reaches out to evoke the reader's senses, helping pull them into the story. But too much can overwhelm the purpose and even bore the reader. I need to ask myself if it is expansive enough to explain but succinct enough to not crush its purpose.I also like to check the waves of tension and drama within the story, releasing them to rebuild again which also allows me to give subtle hints of forthcoming trouble through situations or character introspection. Sometimes some information needs to be deleted.
No wonder my eyes are worn out.
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Check the waves of tension and drama within the story, releasing them to rebuild again which also allows me to give subtle hints of forthcoming trouble through situations or character introspection.ReplyDelete
Rhobin I found this especially helpful.
I am glad to hear that, Connie, thanks!ReplyDelete
I should be as disciplined as you. I do read chapters sheet written but mostly to reacquaint myself with the emotions of the moment before I start writing again. I should, like you, that the opportunity to review if it's actually working.ReplyDelete
That is the hardest thing for me to do: delete a scene I’ve spent hours crafting. However, when the plot stalls, there’s often little choice. Great post!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great topic this month, Rhobin.
Good post, Rhobin. And good explanation of some of the plot issues and ways to handle them.ReplyDelete
Hi Rhobin, I related to that remark about deviations. Obstacles do arise from embedded pieces and I re-reading shows us which 'darlings' need to be excised. anne stenhouseReplyDelete
I was really surprised to be told by an editor recently that "we don't use foreshadowing in romance anymore." Um, what? Sometimes you can have the characters talk or think about something, like you say, which leads the readers to guess where it might go next. But NO foreshadowing? Hmm. As an English major, I'm gonna have to ponder that one.ReplyDelete