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Plot Funks

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Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:23 pm
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LadySpark says...

Okay, so plot funks are nasty. They're mean, they're scary and they're big. I've found myself thinking on more than one occasion, How am I ever going to get myself out of this mess?, worried that the plot funk was going to follow me into the novel itself.

Well, dear reader, guess what?

The plot funk is curable, and best of all, I'm going to teach you how to cure it.

How to Cure the Plot Funk

Finding yourself backed into a corner with your plot happens to the best of us. The plot is going good, you've got the basic frame work, now all you have to do is get down and dirty... And then you hit a snag. The snag might not even seem that big at the time, but it will slowly build up until it seems like it's as tall as the Empire State Building, and you're an insignificant ant trying to tell it what to do. When something like this happens, it usually means that you have lost focus of what the plot is usually about. You're getting stuck on the small things, and not letting the plot grow and explore. This is something that happens to all writer's at one time or another. You get distracted when you don't like your characters, or when there's this one piece that just won't leave you alone, but keeps nagging at you to let it into your plot.

My advice? Let it.

If your plot isn't doing what you want it too, it might be time to start listening to the voice inside your head that keeps trying to make you do something else. Your instinct might be to ignore it, but don't let it.
Sit down with a mug of tea and a blank screen or piece of paper. And just write down what you're thinking. Work methodically (or not so methodically) through it until the voice in your head settles down, and you're finally satisfied.

Then, walk away. Walk away for an hour, or a day, or even a week (NaNo is close, but it's still far enough away for you to take a week-long break!), and when you return, compare both plots. After you've done that, start piecing together your new plot, taking from both. Maybe you just use the base framework from the old version, and fill it with the juicy bits from the new version, or maybe you don't use the new version at all! The point of this exercise was the challenge yourself and move out of the mindset where nothing is going right.

So what are you waiting for?

Let's get to plotting!
hush, my sweet
these tornadoes are for you

-Richard Siken

Formerly SparkToFlame

Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.
— John Milton (Poet)