There’s a book by Jasper Fforde called Well of Lost Plots. I would love to dip in there and ‘borrow’ a few plots.
You see – something happens. Then something else. Perhaps something else. Then the inevitable twist and the end.
Not much of a plot, is it? Not for an entire book. I tried cheating by writing short stories, but they need a plot too.
One way of fixing this is to fully write out a plot beforehand, study it, think about it, and add as many sub-plots and twists as I can.
The problem with this is, I think stories should grow organically, and this method is against all that.
What I tend to do now is write the story. Then I read it and pick up on all the hints and suggestions of sub-plots and back-story and fore-shadowing (that all comes very easily). Then go back and rewrite, following through on all those hints. But this is time-consuming.
The irony is – I love a good convoluted plot. I love having a number of disparate strands fall together, and pieces falling into place pages before the end. When reading, I place a great emphasis on a good plot.
On the plus point, I know this is my weak point. That means I can concentrate on this when creating a story. I can leave dialogue and character to take care of themselves, and work on the plot.
But good grief, it’s hard work!