On Writing – Plot (Or how to work bloody hard and get absolutely no where)


Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Plot! Does anyone else find plotting bloody irritating? Its not like I’m trying to overthrow a government here. I can understand that that would be hard. No, I’m just trying to plot my own damn story.

Normally I’ll try and wing a story. I’ll have a vague idea and I’ll try and just bash it out in one go. Then I’ll discover that my cool ‘story’ idea is actually just a cool ‘scene’ and that once I’ve written this scene I hit a brick wall.

Not today though. Today I wrote an outline. I had hoped the outline would keep me on track, that I would somehow start and finish and that the result would make sense. Nope. Didn’t happen. The finished product had no resemblance to my outline at all. In my outline, I’d set the scene in some old women’s bedroom. Shut up. It’s not that kind of story. So, My character is supposed to be in this bedroom but instead the scene opens in a street in London. My protagonist female is now a male, and instead of regaling us with a rip roaring tale of a past life he is now charging up a London backstreet where he gets his head kicked in.

What the hell is that all about? What happened to my plot that I had written so carefully in my outline?

Can you imagine if that had been a paid job?

Editor: ‘Er… Mark, what the hell is this shit? I asked you to write a story about a roman hero and his rise to glory. He is supposed to heap piles of skulls at the feet of his own Emperor before casting him down and taking the empire for himself. He’s supposed to do all of this armed only with a stave. And what is this you’ve given me? Some weak shit about a mad giraffe who pebble dashes his way across the Serengeti before being unveiled as the reincarnation of Shaka the Zulu. Your fired!’

Oh dear. Does anyone else struggle with plot? I find it hard enough just coming up with a bloody idea, and should I actually come up with an idea/cool scene, it never seems to appear on the screen as I type. It’s almost as if my fingers are working against me. Yes! That must be it. My brain says,
‘Fingers! You will write this crazy cool scene.’
‘Oh okay sure, no worries. Leave it with us.’
*Cue cute finger sniggering*

Oh god it’s happening even now. I wanted so much to write something insightful about plot but… but… It’s the fingers I tell you! They’re holding me back!

*manic laughter*

I don’t need fingers! Who needs fingers??

*Sharpens knife*

Arghhh!!!

P.S I am not drunk.

P.P.S I am now drunk.

P.Ps. I an oh fuck it.

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 Writing – Plot (Or how to work bloody hard and get absolutely no where)”

  1. I’d probably be guilty of giving advice, which I don’t do, if I suggested you nail your feet to the floor over the outline/plot summary and detailed plot sketches. So hell, I won’t say it.

    Like

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