Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Plot Thickens (Just Add Water!)

If only it were that simple.  Unfortunately, I've learned, one of my greatest weaknesses as a writer is my inability to put together coherent, well-structured plots.  And it's not that I'm lacking in ideas, it's just that I have trouble mapping these ideas out in a way that is easily understood by other people.  In short, composing nice looking sentences is easy but stringing those sentences into a story can be challenging, for me anyway.

 Oh I've tried to use story outlines, I really have.  It just doesn't end up doing it for me.  The stories that exist in my head are hardly arranged in neat little patterns and often my best ideas will come to me as I am in the process of fleshing out a character or a scene, making all predestined planning somewhat useless.

Now that school is coming to a close for me, I'd really like to start work in earnest on that novel of mine, the ongoing project that has been haunting me for several years with hardly more than a few pages of rough chapter segments typed out.  The story is all there, sort of, in my brain.  There are details missing, connecting sequences, what happens is I get stuck on a certain scene, a certain plot point, until it drives me so crazy that I scrap the whole goddamn book and start from scratch.  I've done this about 67 times now at least.  

So, if any writers out there are reading this and can share any secrets they may have for successfully outlining a long story or any tips in general about the logistics involved in crafting a piece of writing longer than a very short story, please let me know.