I recently discovered a wonderful Twitter group, MyWANA (We Are Not Alone) and a writer by the name of Kristen Lamb. She is all about helping writers understand themselves as well as the world they live in.
I have been working on a new WIP. It is a slightly different genre for me, and I have to admit I have been struggling a bit. Kristen had a new blog post this week entitled Anatomy of Conflict. As I was reading down the article, my mind completely clicked and I hit my head in stupidity. Duh, Amy! You forgot the basic rules of structure! No wonder you are running around like a half crazed lunatic!
What drives a story, a character, and a plot? Cause and effect, action and reaction. It is science, and it is logical. It is drama, and the source of conflict. So using these simple stepping stones I restarted from the beginning, and began mapping out my pros beginning to end. When I was done, I could very clearly see where I was missing steps and where I completely went off track. Utterly Brilliant!
Now you might think that this is too rigid but it really isn’t. It’s more a matter of making sense of chaos by defining the edges of the canvas. The canvas can be whatever you want, but we need to see the edges to process it as art. All plots have to go from point a, to point b, to point c, if they don’t, you and the reader are going in circles. The reader is going to get dizzy and then toss the book in the circular file. Nobody wants that. It is a tool, a way to keep your structure, your backbone, intact.
One of the things I love about being a writer is how much you learn every day. There are a million different methods, points of view, and maps to the promised land of The End. None of them is wrong, not all of them are right. They are all living breathing experiences within the consciousness of every writer before and after us. I know that we all harbor the ‘artist’ inside us, and cling to what makes us different than the other. We say we are artists, so we are open to interpretation. We also need to be open to new ideas when it comes to the way we write. To consider thoughts and tools meant to assist us in channeling our muse. It is not going to hurt to try something new. As humans we tend to become rigid in our ways. If ain’t broke don’t fix it. I agree, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it once in a while.
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