Saturday, September 25, 2010

The difference between ideas and plot

I've been away for a while - mostly because I found this awesome site called AW (Absolute Writer). Well worth the visit if you have time.

But back on topic :)

I've been writing stories since I was 12 - one story in particular, which is finally reaching completion. Now, I know this story, inside and out. I would be irritated if I didn't after all the work I put into it.

Now I'm having to face up to the fact that I might actually finish this story. This means coming up with something new to write about. Which, if you knew how many ideas I come up with a day, wouldn't seem all that difficult.

But there is a huge difference between ideas and plot. I'd just forgotten how much. Take Varrick for example. I started off with an idea, one that I liked. I created a plot, using three act structure as a basis. I wrote the first twenty pages. They weren't bad - I liked the characters, ect.

But what they did was stale. Incredibly so. Because what was happening to them (and while active protags make do their way and some of their problems, obstacles are often not of their creating) was not boring, but had been done. So many times. I'd read books like this more than once. And while plot points can be archetypal, this wasn't archetypal - it was crap.

I think the main problem is that before hand, when I sat down and plotted my other books (namely THE MANDA) - I had already written the entire thing out twice with no plan. So lots of random and wonderful things had to be tied together, and that created something new. I already had the originality, I just had to figure a way of getting it under control.

But I can't write 6 drafts every time I want to write a book. I just won't have the time - university will eat it up like nothing on earth.

So I have to figure out a way to plot that allows for random ideas. And what I've been doing so far (following three act structure) obviously isn't working. It needs to be part of it, but not all of it.

If that's all I use from scratch, all I end up with is staleness.
*sigh* back to the drawing board.

No comments: