A couple weeks ago I was poking around on someone else’s blog and I saw this post linking to the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). Checking it out, I saw that the first Wednesday of every month they have their official “post about things that you are insecure about” day. Alternatively, you can just offer words of encouragement as well. Not only is this my first post, but it’s also my first time participating in a blog hop! What the heck is a blog hop? When I asked Google to define it, this is what it gave me:
A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as promote your own. Every month, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts.
So, I post my blog here according to their theme and link to everyone else’s blogs, and you guys can go check them out. Be sure to give lots of words of encouragement!
As far as insecure writing goes, I’m going to talk about plots today. Plots are my biggest hang up. I feel like I used to be so good at daydreaming different scenarios and ideas. Plots just came to me all the time and I’d hurriedly jot them down. I’m not sure when I started thinking that I had terrible ideas, or even why. It’s not like a terrible idea can’t be rewritten into a better idea, or even a phenomenal idea.
I’ve been thinking about plots a lot lately. Most recently, and more specifically, I’ve been thinking about the plot of an anime by the title of Code Geass. The way story boarding and plots work for animes versus movies versus comics versus books are kind of each a little different. They all have the same main parts of a story, but they tell stories in different ways. The good ones do it really well. Code Geass is a story that was done so well, that even years later I find myself wanting to watch it again, and yet unable to because of the entire wreckage it left of my emotions. I want to tell stories like that!
So how do I get started with plots? Well, a couple years ago I actually started writing a story involving one of my favorite characters, and for the first time I used an outline. I haven’t finished his story yet, but the outline actually helped me out immensely because where I struggle the most is the middle of the story, and it helped keep me going in the right direction. I imagine upon rewriting there’s going to be a lot of things that get chucked, but at the very least I can say I wrote a story, plot and all! I’ve also considered doing little exercises to get my thinking of plots. Make up stories about other people – just random people I see on the sidewalk. What’s their plot? For that matter, what’s my plot? A plot is just a story told one step at a time. I’ve had a lot of interesting steps to take in my life, for sure.
I think maybe the problem is that I just attach too much weight to the idea of a plot. As in Field of Dreams (“if you build it, they will come”), perhaps I should just let it flow. If I write it, plot will come. Maybe I try too hard to make sure it fits, make sure things make sense. I’ve always struggled with rigidity. You start at Point A, then go to Point B, C, D, and so on. And it’s all in a little box, nice and tight with no room to wiggle. Where’s the fun in that? Maybe it should start at C and then jump to A, then D! And maybe Point B is last and somewhere outside of that stupid, confining box.
The best of creativity comes from letting go of those constraints, which is difficult for the linear and logical. I suppose that my tip to anyone struggling with the same boxed-in thinking that I have would be to find activities that force you to do things differently. Drive the same way to work every day? Try a different route this morning and then make up stories about things you see on the way. And if you struggle with anxiety and change, remember that it’s always okay to start with baby steps – do part of your morning routine out of order and make up a fanciful reason why. —She put the butter on her toast after the jelly just because she liked the way the colors blended – bright yellow swirled among raspberry red.— A silly example, but you get the idea.
That about wraps up my thoughts this morning on plots and insecurity. Please follow the link below to check out any (or all) of the writers involved in the IWSG and be sure to leave a nice word or two! Thank you for reading this far.
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