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Plot *sometimes* happens July 30, 2010

Posted by laurenrobbins6 in Plot.
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Image by wakingphotolife via Flickr

I don’t know if many writers experience this but it is very difficult for me to both write compelling characters and a good plot-line. I’ve heard from different sources that all you need to do is choose whether your novel should be plot centered or character centered. It’s the difference between an Ian Flemming novel and an Ernest Hemingway short story. But shouldn’t your story really have both to make it a ripping read?

And it isn’t true that once you’ve fully developed your characters, the plot will fall into place. I’ve tried to find a good plot to put some of my better characters in but I keep starting and stopping. Maybe I’m trying too hard, maybe I just need to start writing and see where the story goes. But I know that a successful story takes at least a little planning. If you are writing and then suddenly hit a road block, you need to know at least a little of what’s going to happen at the end in order to overcome it.

And some writers have different strengths. Some can hatch fantastic plots (the Ian Flemmings and Dan Browns of the writing world) and others realistic characters (the Ernest Hemingways and Wilkie Collinses…though Wilkie Collins does an amazing job with both). What I’m thinking of doing is putting my ideas into two categories. 1) Plot ideas and 2) character sketches. Would it be easier to match the character to the plot separately, or would it be more consistent if  the two were created at the same time? In any case, there must be a writing excercise to strengthen the bond between character and plot. Sometimes plot happens naturally and sometimes it doesn’t.

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Comments»

1. chris - September 8, 2010

Maybe your thinking to much

laurenrobbins6 - September 12, 2010

Perhaps, and I do like to analyze things, especially things that other people like to leave well enough alone, such as creative writing. However, I feel that in order to create a successful novel, those of us who aren’t the genius writers (who come about once or twice a century) need to be aware of the rules of the writing craft in order to fully express creativity.


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