September 26th, 2004
Plotting and other black holes

I was surfing the web today and ran across Jennifer Crusie’s site. In it she talked about having non-existent plotting skills. I almost fell off my chair. If Jennifer Crusie thinks her plotting skills are non-existent, what does that say about mine? Yikes!

I admit plotting is NOT my strongest area, which is why I’ve been spending so much time reading through plotting books. I think my biggest problem is not understanding what a plot is. My dh says the plot is what happens in the story. If that’s the case, then every story has a plot. Obviously, that would make some stories more interesting than others. If I tell you a story about a trip my doberman and I made to the store. It isn’t going to be very interesting unless something happened along the way like my dog biting someone. (Which could realistically occur.)

Lately, my stories have deepened. I’ve added more layers. I feel like my writing is on the verge of a change. (For the good. 😉 With change comes instability–at least for a time. (Something that’s not great for the control freak inside of me.) I’m trying to ride out the uncertainty until I come out the other side. Hopefully to emerge a better writer and stronger storyteller. Wish me luck because goodness knows my balance is crap. LOL!

7 comments to “Plotting and other black holes”

  1. I find plotting terribly difficult too! Finding ways of adding complexity without things seeming contrived is my worst problem.

    Which plotting books have you found most helpful recently?



  2. Ugh. Plotting is my MAJOR weakness. I’ve tried all the methods…snowflake, hero’s journey, Evan Marshall plan, etc. None help. I just suck! : (

  3. Larissa & Wendy,

    I just posted a long as*ed comment and my own blog dumped it on me. I’m thinking I went over some length constraint. I’m going to reply in the blog today to your questions. And Larissa, you don’t suck. You just haven’t found a way that works for you yet. Hang in there.

  4. I’m another one that feels a distinct sense of loss when I think of my own plotting skills. I did a characterization worksop woth Donal Maass last year ata conference and I recent;y picked up his ” Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook”, (I was happy to see you mention it before Jordan as I’d picked it up about a month ago!) and find it very helpful. 🙂

  5. Sasha, I’m glad you’re finding the book helpful. I know his talk and book have really helped me. On a different note, congrats Larissa on being a finalist in the Lori Foster/Kensington Brava contest.

  6. LOL–thanks for saying I don’t suck, though I’m not so sure about that! *g* And thanks again for the congrats! Yay, yay, yay!!!!! : )