Plot. It’s a four-lettered word but it means so much. It’s so difficult to create.
If you’re continually involved in some sort of creative project like me (novels, short stories, films, you name it) and it’s fiction, you
might know that the hardest task ever might not be the writing/filming or the editing or stuff like that, but in fact it would be in creating a plot. Yeah, creating a plot. I have declared it: IT IS THE HARDEST PART OF DOING WHATEVER EVER.
The reason that plot crafting is so hard, at least for me, is because that you have to be creative, and being creative is about the hardest thing ever. I mean, like, coming up with crappy plots is easy. This is a story I wrote earlier while chatting:
Oh dear. He is so handsome.” The girl flipped her hair. “I must begin to work in earnest. I want to be beautiful, just like him.” She began flipping her hair even more. “Earnest, earnest, earnest I must be! Oh my love, oh my dear, you await me in paradise.” She then flipped her hair so forcefully it all fell out.
She swore ferociously. “Oh damn! My hair! Now I must begin growing my hair in earnest!” She took out her mini-mirror and looked at herself. “Oh holy Francis.” she exclaimed. “This bald head! Earnestly, earnestly, this is the manner I will be working in, forevermore!”
She sat down in her car. “To the salon!” she cried out to the surprise of all the people around her, wondering about why a madwoman ike this was allowed out in the streets.
She drove in full speed, and without noticing it she ran down her lover flat on the street.
Theme: Hair is more important than love.
(Note that the reason I used ‘earnest’ quite often here is to play on a joke in class where a teacher said that if you work earnestly you will become beautiful/handsome). As you can see, that plot, despite being slightly funny if you’re a person who laughs at this sort of stuff, is complete crap. What I want to say is that it’s actually easy to come up with a plot. What’s hard is 1) coming up with a good plot or 2) trying to figure out if whether what you think is a good plot is a good plot or not.
Coming up with a good plot requires you to be 1) creative and 2) original. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of novels are out there, but each novel has a plot and so that’s innumerable plots taken. And now count the movies. The short stories. It’s hard to come up with something truly original. It’s also really hard to come up with something that’s fun. Something that’s enjoyable. Something that your readers/viewers are gonna like. And then when you finally come up with a plot that you *think* is enjoyable/fun/your readers or viewers are gonna like, you’re still in the dark side, the unknown. You might think it’s deserving a rating of five stars, but your audience might give it two.
This is a problem that I really struggle with. Call it writer’s block, call it
having a ‘lack of experience’, call me an unoriginal writer (although I still think my hair-love short story is rather creative), call me whatever; I have this problem. I find it really difficult to come up with new plots. If there’s such a thing as a writing doctor, he would probably tell me to “SEEK OUT NEW EXPERIENCES: read books, watch movies for ideas!” And the prescription paper would have recommended novels and movies and poems. Well, I guess that could help. But if I knock my head hard enough, I am able to come up with good plots and ideas.
What I struggle with even more is that I’m really conscious and aware of my readers. I really do care what my audience thinks about my writing and plots.
Are they gonna like this? Does this look pro? Am I doing it right? What is everyone gonna say about this?
And there’s no easy way to overcome this. This is where the ‘good friends’ part come in. Having a friend you really trust to give you criticism is nice (but then you need to make sure you listen to him/her). But still, you can’t let go of the feeling of ‘WILL THEY LIKE THIS’?
The reason that I brought this up is because every year at my school, we have the “Festival of Epic Awesomeness” (previously known as Performance & Presentation Day) where everyone gets the chance to show something. Show something, show anything, show whatever. Get up on stage and start wiggling, sing a song, make a movie, read a poem, cook, lip-sync, whatever you can imagine. Every year, I’ve done a movie. And since I am
world-renown class renown for being a ‘(relatively) good’ writer, I am thrown with the scriptwriting, which inevitably means I come up with the plot. The previous two years I’ve always been doing ghost movies, just because, but this year I’m changing up and I will probably be coming up with an action movie. The big problem though is that I NEED TO COME UP WITH A FREAKING PLOT.
To be accurate, yes, I can come up with plots, but I’m really not sure if people would like them or not.
I’ve got to overcome this problem.
I’ll be writing a post soon when I’ve come up with a good plot. And by the way, the next chapter of Revolution: Rise of Darkness will be posted soon. And I will also be starting to write my first historical fiction novel, Shield of Fire, when I’ve finished outlining the novel. (I’m going to be posting more about that soon).
I need to remember: WRITE DRUNK, EDIT SOBER.