Plotting is the art I’m currently trying to master. I ignored it for so long that I really have 0 knowledge on the subject. I always thought plot came naturally with creative expression, and that if I was inspired, then the plot would naturally come out perfect. I guess its these romantic notions of writing that have caused me to “relax” with my craft, and not get my hands dirty.
Plot from my current understanding is that line of events that moves from beginning – middle – End. This is pretty obvious really, but the art of plotting comes with tieing these ends together in an engaging, logical and concerete whole. The question that I ask myself (Acquired from Janice Hardy at her blog – check out her link) is “What can go wrong?” When you ask yourself this question, a number of scenarios appear. Now, with your list of possible paths, study them and ponder, which ones will challenge your character the most? What ones will force the character to really push themselves to grow? I read that “giving your character hell” is a good approach, and I can see the value in it because it forces a character to dig deep within themsevles, and hopefully engage the reader along with it.
Some authors plan heavily before starting their novel, some just know the major events between the start and finish, and some know nothing before diving in. Personally, my idea for a novel, comes in flashes of important moments, and as those important moments build I feel inspired to write. So its due to my creative process that I just have some major events in mind before writing. I also know the ending, the premise, the theme and what idea I will be exploring. Writing to me is a way of exploring profound ideas about existence, and by exploring it in a reality of my choice, I’m able to bring it down from an abstract concept and place it in a world so that it can be periceved and contemplated by the humam mind (again a romantic notion, but I believe this one can be emperical as a lot of the greatest novels are explorations of universal ideas).
But, as I learn about plot, I can see myself moving more towards planning a lot before I write. Really getting “my hands dirty” and connecting the dots, thinking about how to engage the readers and give my “characeters hell”. This is what I’m trying to do now, and hopefully It pays off in the long term.
Anyways, tommorow is my last post before I head off to India. I hope to post reguarly, but I doubt I will be able to post everyday due to the long travel times and the reliability of the internet.
Speak soon playyaaas