Monday, July 27, 2009

Effective Plotting: A way to Avoid The Saggy Middle.

Chances are that at one time or another you've had the problem that I'm dealing with now. Your novel or story started off great guns...then suddenly it came to a screeching halt. I usually know how I want to start and end my stories (I imagine many of you do too) the dilemma is how to get from start to finish and maintain interest in the story. Well, there is a simple answer. Have an effective plot.

I am a very undisciplined writer. If anyone were to ask me to describe my writing style I would say: "Prolonged periods of procrastination intermixed with periods of frenetic writing..." I get a new idea and off I go before I even know if it's going to be a short story or a novel. I currently have 4 novels (and who knows how many short paragraphs describing ideas) in process. At the risk of dating myself, I can be like the 60s cartoon character Ricochet Rabbit. I'll be working on something, get a new idea and off I go on a tangent. Ricochet Rabbit was like that. He would take off in an incredible burst of speed and bounce off things until he reached his destination. So, ol' Ricochet here has all these great novels sitting on a thumb drive; each one stalled at various places.

In this series of posts, I'd like to explore some ways a writer can beef up a plot so that it sustains itself until the end. I will try to emphasize two basic problems: plot creation and plot control. It is not enough to create a good plot; you must control the plot until you reach that terrific climactic ending you have in mind.

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