PLOT? WHAT IS THAT?

November 2, 2007 at 6:30 am 9 comments

(this picture has nothing to do with the post. I just like it.)

Bless those people who stick to their plot. Extra bless those who actually know what their plot is before they sit down to write.

I’m not one of those people. I have a vague idea that gets lost in translation. Or better yet the kind that you can fit Texas in.

Now I started OVERWORKED AND UNDERLAID with the idea of a women going home to find out why her mother was selling the family home. The plot: Women had to stay for her mother’s wedding (stay for 30 days) in order to get her father’s home free and clear. The obstacles: She hasn’t talked to her mother in 12 years. Her mother kicked her out over a man. The love interest: Her ex-boyfriend who she left when she got kicked out.

How did the plot get lost?

I have no freaking idea. I’m 26k into the story and really to be honest the stakes don’t feel like they’ve been raised. I don’t know what to throw at my heroine to make her want to leave putting her getting the house in jeopardy. The only thing I can think of is making her want to stay home, which for the heroine is a fate worst than death. Her goal is to get the hell out of the there on day 30. I can make her realize she’s in love with the hero, but it’s too early. I’ve been making the mother more likable. Yes, it’s making the heroine’s head spin.

I guess I’m looking for the one thing that will make the reader (me at the moment) wonder if she can stick it out for the wedding.

At times like this I wish I was a plotter. *gasp* Yes, I said it. PLOTTER. *sigh* I must be desperate. If you guys don’t hear from me in week send out the search and rescue, because I’m lost in my nonexistent plot line.

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Entry filed under: writing woes.

THE DAY OF THE DEAD THE WRITING: it has to be fun or what’s the point?

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Elbaum  |  November 2, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Aw, that’s a tough spot to be in. Hope you find your way thru.

  • 2. Jess  |  November 2, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    It might be gimmicky, but could something in her normal life Not Home come up, so she’s torn between staying to get the house and going back to clear up this new thing? Complication, woo.

    And I hate to ask it, but… why does the heroine want the house if she doesn’t want to Stay There? Or is it only Stay Anywhere Near the Mother Who Will Be Moving After the Wedding?

  • 3. Jess  |  November 2, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I meant to add, good luck.

    I normally plot and then deviate from it, use it as a basic roadmap, but I started a project pantsing to be different, and I’m 20k in going, now what? … so… I made a scene list. Ha! I can’t escape it.

  • 4. Mel  |  November 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    “why does the heroine want the house if she doesn’t want to Stay There? Or is it only Stay Anywhere Near the Mother Who Will Be Moving After the Wedding?”

    Three Words. Texas-sized-hole.

    Her father is dead and that’s the only thing she has left of him. What she doesn’t want to admit to herself is that she does want the connection to her mother, her family, and the community. Keeping the house is the best excuse she (I really) can come up with to make those connections.

    I should rename the post “When you’ve written yourself into a corner.”

    “It might be gimmicky, but could something in her normal life Not Home come up, so she’s torn between staying to get the house and going back to clear up this new thing?”

    Nope, not too gimmicky at least in my circumstance. The heroine owns a clothing store. Might be able to come up with something.

  • 5. Mel  |  November 2, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Jennifer-I wrote myself in a corner and I’m writing around it hoping somethig will come to me.

  • 6. bettye griffin  |  November 2, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Mel,
    I found myself stuck earlier this week. At a little more than halfway through a manuscript, I was at a standstill. I handle it the way I usually do.

    I moved ahead to another character’s scenes until inspiration struck. It took maybe two days.

    Something will come to you. Try not to sweat it.

  • 7. Edie  |  November 2, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Maybe there are huge problems with the house? Mold, lol. That would make me want to leave. The mother could always get bitchy again. The mother’s fiance could make a move on her …

    Probably none of these will fit your plot or characters. Good luck with you conflict!

  • 8. Mel  |  November 2, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Bettye-I’m guess the pun wasn’t intended and no I’ll keep writing through it. The best ideas come to me when I’m knee deep in the story.

    But hitting this wall is a necessary evil and it happens every time I start a new book. There is never a warning it just happens.

  • 9. Mel  |  November 2, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Edie-“The mother’s fiance could make a move on her …”

    I’ve already used that one. *sigh* should have saved it for later.

    I’m taking any suggestions. 9 times out of 10 when I get a lot of ideas thrown at me something ends up sticking or I think of another way to do it. If nothing else it gets my thinking out of the box I’ve stuck myself in.

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