Thursday, May 19, 2011

When It Just Doesn't Click

I consider myself a plotter mixed with just a dash of pantser. I can't just write without direction, but I can't write out every little detail in a perfectly organized outline either. I need room to maneuver and a trail to follow, even if it's only a footpath.

The bare essentials include characters, a map (if needed), a little background for both the land and the people, and around ten plot points including the beginning, the climax, and the end. This is what I feel comfortable writing with. How does Royally Burned, the novel I plan to write in June, shape up?

-characters check
-map check
-background check
-plot points EEEEH! fail

You can see what I'm obviously working on. The thing is, my ideas come to me in sudden bursts and spurts, so forced ideas sometimes don't feel right. For instance, I have one that could really bring some conflict to the story and could carry it along but it just doesn't feel right. It doesn't click.

Imagine you're working on a puzzle and you've finally found the piece you're looking for, or so you think. It's the right color, the right shape, but you can tell it just doesn't fit, doesn't go in smooth. That's the best metaphor I can give you for this feeling.

It's possible that it's just my mood. It's also possible that the idea just won't work. We'll have to wait and see. 


  1. Yep, I often feel pressure when I ask myself, "Okay, so i've got everything planned...except the plot! damn!" hehe

  2. Good luck with your plot points, Brooke! I tend to be a complete pantster, but I have been trying to make myself do a little more planning lately.

  3. Award time!

  4. Well, Brooke,

    At least you know where your problem lies. The solutions will come to you eventually. Don't stress about it. Maybe work on a short story or something else just to shake up the creativity a bit. It worked for me on my first novel.

  5. Sari: When I pants, I don't finish. Goals and challenges seem to motivate me best.

    Michael: It's true. There is always a bright side. However, my solution is to take a break. I've been writing too much and my brain is fried. Hopefully, with relaxation will come ideas.

    Trisha: Thanks, hon. And obviously you don't have any problems with plots. You have like a million first drafts lying around. XD

  6. Oh, I hate it when things don't click. I had a similar problem with a book I'm planning called CAGED.

    The first plot outline I came up with just didn't feel right. I gave it a little time and took a break. Eventually, a better idea just came to me :)

    Good luck!

  7. Writing a book is much like figuring out a puzzle. I'm more panster than plotter. But I think about most of the scenes before I write them. Mull them over until I guess it's almost like outlining. We all have our ways, and it never hurts to get advice from other bloggers and books.

  8. That's a great metaphor! And it really is frustrating when that happens. Good luck and hang in there. Things are sure to click soon :)