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?
One thought on “On Plot”
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.