Monday, March 18, 2013
Plot Problems and Fears
I have a hard time figuring out what should happen to characters. What should the main thrust of the story’s narrative be? How do my characters get from Point A to Point B in a somewhat original, entertaining, and non-linear way? And don’t get me started on sub-plots. Stories within stories make my head hurt when I am trying to invent them.
This is why I tend to write short stories. I can use simple plots and sub-plots, and the outcome is pretty straight-forward. The idea of doing a book-length story of any quality kind of intimidates me.
And that’s probably why I falter. It’s like when I was a kid, I was scared to death to go off the high-dive. Then, at summer camp, I did it. It was easy because the water was so over chlorinated, you couldn’t see how deep it was. When I got home, I went to the local pool, which was crystal clear. And that 12 feet of water scared the living crap outta me! But, I jumped anyways (though I jumped sideways and tried to hit as close to the ladder as possible).
And that’s probably what I need to do for my writing. Just jump. Every piece of writing advice I have ever read tells you that your first works will suck. That’s very disheartening. My ego is fragile, so I can’t imagine enduring endless amounts of “Wow, that was lame. You should just scrap it.”
I avoided that with my first few short stories by self-publishing them. But I don’t know if that’s a viable option. Either way, it requires me to actually write the book(s). And so I am back to being scared of the whole process. Yeah, I know there’s no logic behind my fear. But that doesn’t make it any less real or less paralyzing.
So, are there any tips or tricks to developing a good plot? Or am I going to have to just muscle through it?