On Plot..

Quite simply, plot can be defined with a question. What will happen next? But in order for the reader to wonder this, there’s a lot of thinking to be done on the writer’s part and within these questions, he/she must come up with believable ways in which to always keep the story moving forward.

And for me, it is very comforting to know that a plethora of writers don’t outline or rely on plot. Like Stephen King and many others, I usually start with a basic scene, character, sometimes a theme (though rarely) and follow the characters. I allow them to show me the way, and I like it that way. It’s only through the exploration and development of character that plot is revealed.

The late E.L. Doctorow said it just right:

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Though somewhat unorthodox (nothing wrong there,) another method of exploring plot can be achieved by juxtaposition and causality. However, one must discover how to justify them. Take James Joyce’s classic, Ulysses, as a great example of juxtaposing two or more seemingly unrelated things and somehow making them work.

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4 thoughts on “On Plot..

  1. Haha that made me smile. Going from a point A to point B but incidently coming across point 1 due to character.
    It is fun writing like that as it also keeps the writer guessing what will happen next.
    Still learning but having fun doing so.

    1. Thank you commenting.:) I’m glad it made you laugh. Many years ago, I tried outlining, but it never worked for me. Starting with a vague idea and simply going with it is a lot of fun but like you, said, it’s a learning process, too.

      1. It was a pleasure. I use this way of writing every week. Knowing where I want to go just not sure How I will get there.
        It has happened that a story did come to a stop as well due to this.

  2. I think it’s the best way to write, but I also realize it isn’t for everyone.
    Oh, no…did it come to a stop prematurely or did you finish it? If it was the latter, congratulations. If the former, is there any way to work around it to find another alternative?

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