1. Adenay of the Island
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    Adenay of the Island New Member

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    Getting Too Attached to Badly Thought-out Plots

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Adenay of the Island, Apr 10, 2015.

    If you're like me, you think for a while on a plot, come up with something vague, and feel like you're finished. Once you try to actually do something, you're crippled. Words appear before your eyes with all the force and speed of molasses.

    Hopefully you're not like me. Hopefully you don't get stuck on a stupid, flimsy plot just because you don't want to go back and think some more.

    I'm impatient. I've had these characters for a while now, and I love them, and do you blame me for wanting to just get onto the fun bits? For clarification, I'm an artist first, then a writer, so I want to combine these hobbies and make a comic. Drawing comes naturally to me. Art flows from my fingertips. I can't stop drawing! It's quick, fun, and easy for me.

    Because of this, the whole writing part feels a bit tedious. Yes, I could just make a loose outline, but I want this done to the best of my ability, and a loose outline will not do that for me. What's happening is that I get stuck on the first thing I come up with, and have trouble letting go and starting over because I just want to get past this stage.

    So, enough wordiness, sorry.

    Have you ever been in a situation like this? Have you grown past it? What do you do to stop being afraid of writing dumb things?
     
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    First, I'm glad we now have a tag for "uaguhhhhhhhhggghg". Topics on that subject are hard to find! :D

    Second, have you thought of collaborating with another writer? That might help you get out of the pit of flimsy plots and allow you to focus more on the drawing part.

    Then again, nothing stops you from writing just the "fun bits" and keeping the plot light. There's plenty of works with quite simple plots out there that actually rely more on the characters or, in case of a comic, also the artwork. I read quite a lot of BDs (bandes dessinées), and sometimes the plots aren't much to write home about, but the magic comes from the characters, the world, and world-building. E.g. the Haven trilogy.
     
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  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Oh thank God! I thought I was the only one to get attached to badly thought-out plots to the point where my fantasy and sci-fi (both with kinda dumb plots) have ground to a halt with DISCONTINUED in red at the bottom. It's weird because in my head, it makes sense. I can see how they could get from Point A to Point B.

    I'm the exact opposite though, I'm a lousy artist, a pity because I could so do a web comic series based on them. I'm afraid that I don't have any advice here that you probably haven't heard a million times before. I suppose the question you should ask is, 'How badly do I want to see this as a finished draft, and how much do I actually care whether it sucks or not?' I suppose you could write out a scene that sums up the whole story, the scene that's the clearest in your head and write the story around that.
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I hate to sound like a broken record, but the challenge of writing isn't coming up with a wonderful plot first time, full-blown, like Athena from the head of Zeus. It's taking the bare bones of a plot that's full of holes, and working it out till it comes right.

    It may involve a lot of changing, and may end up not resembling your original idea very much. But if you keep walking away every time you hit a snag or get bored, you will never finish anything. If you think your plot is going nowhere, step back from it and find a way to redirect it so it does go somewhere after all. Instead of thinking: "this doesn't work, I'll dump it,' think: 'this doesn't work. What can I do to make it work?"

    You don't have to do this in front of your computer. Give yourself some down time to think about it, to play around with ideas. But don't abandon it and move on to something else. That becomes a really bad habit. Stick with the original problem until you solve it. Trust me, the payoff for solving the problem will be massive. You'll gain confidence in yourself as a writer, and furthermore, you'll have something to show the world.

    I'd say get in the habit of fixing, not abandoning—whether it's a short story, novel, or comic—and you'll be on track.
     
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  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I allow myself to be abstract. If something seems too dumb to write, then I ask myself what I want to accomplish by writing it. (What point am I trying to make? What plot hole am I trying to fill? What choice do I want to force the character to make? What do I want the reader to experience? etc.) I state my intent as precisely as possible. That process usually gives me the solution to my problem. If it does not, then I simply move on under the assumption that the problem has been solved and it does not matter how it has been solved. I will think of an actual solution later.

    This works not only for plotting, but for literally any task that involves writing. Including essays, research papers, and even software.
     
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  6. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it makes you feel better, I don't even think about plot. That's how bad I am. I get stuck on characters mostly, and interesting images and moments. Ideas. I feel incredibly undeveloped as a writer in that way. It's why I have limited myself to only short stories because when I tried at a novel last year I realized I had no clue about having a clue about what to do. That rhymed, and that's cool. See? Can't even write a coherent paragraph. So FEEL SMART.
     
  7. Adenay of the Island
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    Adenay of the Island New Member

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    I've indeed thought of collaborating, but my story feels a little too personal to share with someone else, you know?

    I've never heard of the Haven trilogy! I'll be sure to check that out and see what you mean. ^^


    Aah. Yeah. You're right, that's happening to me right now. This is wonderful advice, and I'll be sure to do my best! Thank you for the assurance that I don't have to come up with a great plot on the first try. When I feel like that, I just feel so pressured that I can't come up with anything.

    Oh my gosh, joining this forum was such a good decision. I haven't been able to get feedback like this in forever!! This is an angle I haven't heard before, but it makes so much sense. Thank you.
     
  8. Adenay of the Island
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    Adenay of the Island New Member

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    Whaaat? Don't limit yourself! I mean, I guess if you don't have any desire to write a novel, it's okay . . . but, I dunno. Doesn't that seem like giving up? Completely ignoring the fact that I give up on stories, too. We're in the same boat, kind of. *cough*
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think you need to feel afraid of writing something dumb, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to avoid doing it.

    There's another active thread right now about pantsers vs. plotters, and this thread may be an example of a time when someone should be exploring the ground between the two.

    When you get stuck, is it at the 'writing' stage, or the 'planning' stage? If you're consistently getting stuck when you try to write, maybe you need to take a break and spend some time trying to plan so you can go back to the writing with more structure and a clearer path. On the other hand if you're getting stuck when you try to plan, maybe you need to skip the planning and just start writing and see where you end up. The general goal is to avoid getting stuck! If something isn't working, try something else!
     
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