On Plot

I have been giving a lot of thought to this infuriating concept they call plot.

It seems to me that aspiring writers the world over are sitting in bars and cafes mulling over a million ideas, discarding most and running with others. They get excited when a new idea seems to be panning out well – they blast off maybe a thousand words with barely a moments respite. They construct an entire outline within a few minutes interwoven with various sub plots and interweaving arcs and laugh to themselves at the thought that this is the one – this one will be a novel.

Then reality rears its irritating face and spits in your creative broth.

Your idea has been done before.

Not only that but as you research a little more you discover that not only has it been done before, its been done better.

Or has it?

Maybe their plot was a little better but that does not mean that all is lost.

Let me explain.

The chances of coming up with a completely new idea that has never been done before are few and far between. Its not impossible of course. Not by a long way. After all, we are only hindered by our own lack of imagination.

My point is that instead of waiting for that blockbuster idea to crop up and rock the Earth with its originality, I suggest you just write.


Need an example do you? Okay, let’s take Twilight.

Now first and foremost I have to say that I am not a fan of Twilight. Vampires, Ms Meyer, do not bloody well sparkle.

Books and stories about vampires and werewolves have been done a thousand times over. What makes Twilight different is it’s point of view. The world is seen through the ideas of a teenage girl, bubbling over with teen angst, lust and general girly emotion. It fulfils a niche in the market by anyone’s reckoning.

That’s all that Ms Meyer has done differently. She has not come up with some earth shattering plot. No, instead she’s just told and old story from a different point of view.

Her characters are interesting and the underlying feelings of lust and want keep readers turning pages.

So why not give it a go?

Take a well known myth or fairytale and change the point of view. When you do this you’ll notice that your characters, particularly your protagonist, will have a very different goal than the one you previously associated the story with.

Just a thought. What do you think?

M 😉

Author: Mark S Thompson

Okay, so these things are kind of hit and miss. If you’re reading this then I am thankful to you for taking the time out of your day to do so. I’ll be honest, when I think of myself as a writer, I kinda cringe. Don’t get me wrong, it is the dream, it's​ just I never really believe it will go anywhere. When I think back to the day that I first knew I loved writing, and I mean really knew, I see myself sitting in an English lesson at secondary school. The school was called Wrotham and is in the county of Kent, England. As far as I know, it's still there. English was far and away my favourite subject. The best bit was when the teacher gave the class a selection of words and asked us to make up a story that either contained those words or was about those words, you know. At other times we would be given the first sentence and then write what happens next. Good times. Many times my work would reflect what I had recently read and it would be okay. Nothing special, just okay. On one occasion though I wrote about a merman called Finchy and can remember going into so much depth and detail about him and the underwater kingdom he lived in. I really enjoyed writing that and it must have shown because my teacher commented on it. She was really impressed and loved the story. That was it for me, my moment. Now when I write I think back to those great times and to that story. Hopefully, I’ll write something that you, the reader, will be moved to comment on. For me, there is no greater elixir

One thought on “On Plot”

  1. Mark

    I agree with your post 100%! I am reading a book entitled, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure. It is actually a pretty good read. It’s written by a gentleman named James Scott Bell. I recommend that you check it out. I personally, enjoy reading about writing and its different techniques. On Writing, by Stephen King is also great. I just picked up Bird by Bird as well. Great post. It definitely motivated me, as I have been worried a lot lately about the originality of my WIP.



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