Hey guys, so today I’m giving you another key part to Writers Square, to go along with Dreamlands and Drafts, and Character Cough Ups.
Today’s is Plots…Plops.
What to do and how to handle your plot when it…
plops on the ground and cries like a baby?! What is wrong with you little plot thing? I don’t have anything else to give you! I’ve legitamately given you my life force at this point!
*Walks out of the room shaking head.*
So other than my clear lacking ability with kids, let’s talk about Plots, and my tips to get over them. Though I’m really not sure how well they’ll work, if my tups are as bad as my child care techniques.
1. Don’t think ahead. When you feel your plotline going dry, don’t try to plan the future of the plot, in fact, I’m telling you to forget everything Writing Class taught you, and don’t plot out your story.
At. All. Let it go. Focus on something else. The sky. Your favorite TV show. The weird ending of Gilmore Girls. (Honestly, I aspire to write something with such witt and comeback as Gilmore Girls-and though I’ve only seen the new episode of the come back, I’d have to say it’s a little less quick witted).
2. Think about the future of your characters-not the plot. Seriously, again, keeping in mind that you forget the plot, still focus on your characters. Try to imagine them in different situations, weird, funny, bad, good, it doesn’t matter. You don’t want to completely lose the characters.
3. Look to the outside world for inspiration.
Writing about action films?
Don’t just watch Jackie Chan, and read Marvel, D.C, books and comics.
Oh no, I want you to look for autobiographies, theories, folk lores. Search for substanance that’s already in the world-it’ll probably trigger the yet-to-be-created-stories.
4. Talk with people. Fellow writers-converse. I know, it’s terrifying. I despise it. Espicially when they ask me to send me a piece of what I’m working, right after they sent me something that will most likely win the Nobel Prize, or the C.S.Lewis award. Really though, give them the bases of your idea, see if they have ideas, or have something you can tweak and play around with (and change it a great deal so you aren’t being sued for plagerism 10 years down the road).
5. Remember the Hero’s Journey.
Every story has a series of events that must happen in order for them to be considered a real-deal story, and not flop. This is what is occassionally refered to as the Hero’s Journey. You know, you start out with every day stuff, you have a life changing event, your character interacts with other characters, you hit the climax, and the main point, is that your Main Character comes out better, or stronger. Here’s an example of the Hero’s Journey:
6. Just write. Sit down, stare at the screen, and write. Remember what I said about drafts? Just.Write. All that matter’s right now is you, your notebook and pen, or laptop and headphones. And if you’re writting in a public place, that group of teenagers that’s staring at you as if you using your keyboard consistantly is a terribly strange thing (I love where I live-you either have judgemental elders, or judgemental teenagers. The Jury is always in session around here).
7. Treat yourself. Man, this is your chance. Treat yourself-work hard to get that kink out of your plot, and then treat yourself to something awesome, like watching Trigun with your dad and brother, whilst trying to repeat Vash the Stampede’s name, or you know, do something that you like that I might find weird, like get a massage, or drink really expensive coffee, or just go all out and really expensive, and buy yourself a box of sugar-laden cereal, milk, and a spoon. Forget the bowl, eat it straight from the bag. You deserve it.
-Wow. Somebody is going to be seriously concerned about my mental health one day.-
8. Take a hike. Nature is possibly the best thing you can take in when you’re working through a plot problem. If it’s raining, use an umbrella and know that you’ve been lied too-you can’t catch a cold being in the rain. Take in everything around you, breath it in, try not pass out if you have Chronic Asthma, Anemia, and a sun/heat/cold intolerance like I do. (I’m learning that I have limitations that even that little girl who had heart surgey and climbed Everest would not understand).
9. Sleep on it. Go to bed thinking about it. If you tried not thinking about it and it didn’t work-go to bed thinking about it. My dreams usually are the main source of how I work out plot plops. Really, my characters usually become the source of my dream, and it works incredibly well. Remember to have a notebook and pen by your bed to write down ideas, though.
10. DO NOT LOSE IT.
I repeat, it’s not the end of the world. Dead-line, or Deadline, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll work it out. You can do it. If you lose it, so will your story, and then you’ll have a plot that’s throwing an even bigger tempertantrum, while everything is one fire, except the floor, which is actually made of lego’s that have super glue attatched to them.
Yes, it is that painful to work with. It’s like getting a paper cut, only worst.
Because this is internal, and it won’t go away after a few days.
So those are my tips for today! I hope they’ll help you when you have to deal with tiny plots throwing tempertantrums, and being impossible to deal with, much like my hair, pretty much every day of my life. Let me know if you used any of these tips, and they worked. Also, please remember that I am not a certified writing-tip-giver, these are just how I handle things, and how they might help you handle things. Stay tuned for my next writing post, where I tell you how to handle settings, even though I’m about as knowledgable in that area as Jerry Lewis in The Bell Boy was about finding his duplicate.