Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why Plot?

Because if I didn't, I'd go insane during the writing process. I have to know what's coming next -- it's the whole obsessive-compulsive personality trait, I think. Afterburn is making me crazy with how slowly the plot is unfolding in my head. I do believe school stress is getting in the way. I hate to see what happens if I actually take on the second job I'm looking for . . . but one must do what one must do, right?

I was thinking about plotting today, while I was teaching (well, covering) a class for a colleague who was in a meeting. It was an English class and the kids were researching, so I didn't have much trouble with it. But I know I function much better when I've worked out a lesson plan ahead of time -- everything from assessment to what the kids need to know and do to what standards I'm addressing and how I'm going to approach the lesson.

Writing a book? Same principle. I need to know where I'm going, where the turning points in my plot are. Does the book often turn out differently than my plan? All the time, but I think that's normal. I still end up in the same place, just with a slightly different route.

I can't imagine writing without a map, though.

What about you? Plotting or no plotting? And why?

3 comments:

Amie Stuart said...

Plot and it's driving me nuts bec. I can't find a contemporary plot to save my life =)

Joan Swan said...

You know me, Lin. Big plotter. I can write without one, but I'd just end up with huge rewrites. Better to plot than rewrite--that's my mantra.

Carol B. said...

And you know me - not so much on the plot. I like to follow the emotion. I'm reading Swain's Technique's of the Selling Writer, something I had too little experience to enjoy before. It's a lot wordy, but he finally gets around to the point, and I find I'm learning that I may not be so off the mark with my methods (or lack thereof) after all.

Amie, can't believe you're saying that. Your stories are awesome!