Oct 27, 2015

How Writers Write Fiction Week 3: Plot

What did I learn about plot?

Well, the main thing that stuck was that literary writers are apparently really, really scared of it, and as the class is directed at literary writers, that was the main perspective that was offered. For them, plot seems to be a necessary evil and not something to strive for.

A quote that came up a lot was this:

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
E.L. Doctorow   

So, basically only the pantser (writing by the seat of your pants) perspective was shown, not the plotter one, which I think is a shame. Particularly the advice to just write the whole story without planning anything and then do a bunch of drafts over years and years to dig out your plot seemed kind of ludicrous to me.

Okay, fine. You want to do it the hard way, go right ahead, but I prefer to have a roadmap before I start out, and I don't think that should be made to feel cheap or tawdry, "something only genre writers do." I'm a genre writer. Yes, I'm a bit offended by your tone. 

I think outlining and learning about structure can be a great tool for writers, even literary ones.

Maybe this is why I struggle with reading literary novels?

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