Happy Wednesday, friends! So...I know what you're thinking. "Why hasn't Donea been posting on Tuesdays?" I hate to admit it, but I've come down with a nasty case of...Lazy-Blogger syndrome. You might want to draw a poised finger back. No concrete facts yet, but the condition is possibly contagious.... I tell you this because I care. :)
Speaking of caring...for those lovely bloggers who've awarded me The Stylish Blogger or Versatile Blogger Award in the past few *cough, cough* ummm...weeks... I DO appreciate it!! Seriously. You all rock. And by "you", I mean:
Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian
Lady Jai at Snippets From My Mind
and Alison Stevens
Thank you, ladies!! And, my fine readers - please check these great bloggers out and follow, if you like what you see.
One last thing before I actually get to the nitty-gritty of the title of this post - WRITEONCON, 2011 is coming to a computer near you in August!!!! Now - I wasn't a part of this event last year (merely because I hadn't heard of it yet, but no excuses...) HOWEVER - I will definitely be there this year. It's put on by some bloggers that I just LOVE - Shannon Messenger and Elana Johnson, and their awesome others. There's a cool badge over on my side-bar with a count down to the big event. Feel free to check it out! *They are giving away agent query critiques - so GO NOW!
So - what to do if your plot: a) blows chunks b) sucks, like thick chocolate shake up a tiny straw or c) reads so badly, you want to cut your eyeballs out?
My advice? Kill someone. No, wait! Blow something up. Yes - that's a good one!
Better advice? Listen to a professional. I am not one. I know, I know...shocking. :) Again - I turn to the good people at Writer's Digest with a recent article titled, "6 Common Plot Fixes", posted by Brian - it's an excerpt from James Scott Bell's "The Ultimate Revision Checklist". Here's my bare-bones edition, but you can read the whole article by clicking HERE.
First - ask yourself the following questions about your plot:
Is there any point where a reader might feel like putting the book down?
Does the novel feel like it's about people doing things?
Does the plot feel forced or unnatural?
Is the story out of balance? Too much action? Too much reaction?
*If you answered "yes"...try one of the following:
Plot fix #1: Keep nabbing ideas. During revisions especially, you mind will be running the plot points of your story through your head, over and over again. New ideas could emerge. Be prepared to write these down whenever/where ever they strike! A good rule for writers - keep a notebook and a pen handy.
Plot fix #2: Create Two Trajectories. Try giving your MC a personal problem and a plot problem. The personal could complicate how he/she deals with the plot. Think about it...
Plot fix #3: Add another level of complication. Basically - don't hold back on the magnitude of bad you can inflict upon your poor MC. (See! My killing or blowing up things idea wasn't sooo far off, after all!)
Plot fix #4: Add a character. Too few characters can lead to a weak plot, or a weaker way to deal with the plot. Too many characters can just be too much. Find the right mix.
Plot fix #5: Beware of unmotivated actions. Newton's law, right? Actions and equal reactions. If your MC does something, there better be a darn good reason for it!
Plot fix #6: Change a setting. Your world, your settings are pretty integral to your story. BUT! It never hurts to switch things up. The more unique the locale, the better. Take a fight out of the bedroom and stick it in a crowded theater, Midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture show or something like that. They can throw toast at each other.
Just a few ideas. You know your story and deep down, you know how to fix it if it needs fixing. Hopefully these tips just spur you to action. Happy writing, all!