Sunday, February 1, 2009

Getting Plot

Yay! I’ve done it.
Well, no, I haven’t finished my manuscript, but I’ve made a discovery.
It may not be anything new to many of you—but for me it ‘s big.
I have made peace with the idea of plot.
Plot is the driving force behind a novel. Otherwise it’s a series of vignettes with nothing tying them together.
I finally found the plot for my story. It took me time. For some reason, I wasn’t clear on it.
Don’t laugh at me. I have to admit I felt a little silly after it clicked. After all I am a teacher. I understand that stories have to have a problem and solution. I’m also a big reader so I know the problem is what drives the story.
But it wasn’t until I began writing my novel that the idea of a concrete thread tying all the pieces together made sense. In the novel I initially wrote, my main character, Maya, was trying to figure out her identity. I thought that was enough. She travels to the West Bank and discovers her true identity. But it was too vague. What drives Maya to discover her true identity? Something has to tie the threads of her West Bank experience together. And it has to be something concrete. It wasn’t until I came up with that something concrete that the novel began to really and truly move forward.

I have to thank Paulakaymac for listening to me and advising me. And I also want to thank another blogger , the Plot Whisperer, who’s December plotting month helped me along. Once I complete my first draft, I intend to go back to complete her December plotting month.

Have any of you ever had that kind of epiphany? About something actually so within reach but out of reach at the same time?

Writers, have you ever thought up?

Have you?
I have.
There are so many times I wanted to throw my manuscript away forever. It’s easy. Just chuck it away and let it go. I get that feeling when
1. I’m stuck.
2. I feel insecure and unsure of myself as a writer.
3. Have the ideas, but don’t like the way the plot is moving.

So what do I do when I feel that way? Do I actually walk away? Do I actually throw it out? Sometimes.
But I always come back.
Staying away helps me gain perspective.
I get busy with other things that either inspire me or things that make me feel good about me. Some ideas are: reading a good book, reading my online friend’s blogs, do something simple I know I’m good at—like playing with my children and seeing laughter light up their faces, or join a spinning class (that’s a sure way to get those feel good hormones—endorphins—working) or even go for a walk to try to enjoy some stillness and quiet.
Once I’ve created some space between myself and my manuscript, I come back feeling refreshed and energized.
The space and distance gives me back my confidence and my will to keep moving forward.
It’s easy to give up.
Give yourself some space and then come back with renewed vigor to tackle your writing. Remember perseverance goes a long way.
Have you ever wanted to give up? Share your thoughts.