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Posts Tagged ‘plot’

Definitions for abrazo – noun [ah-brah-thaw/saw]

  1. Spanish. An embrace – used in greeting someone.

He had watched them embrace many times before—warm, friendly, safe—but now he noticed the abrazo lingered, first arms and then eyes and he suddenly knew she was gone.

 

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Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.

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If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.

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There are generally two types of fictional writers: Plotters and, what I like to call, Plodders.

Plotters are those who plan before they write. They plot outlines, jot notes, gather details and ideas like those animals gathering food before the snowy winter months, having everything prepared before they begin. They know their story thoroughly and consciously write to their plan. The down side is that their writing can be restrictive, their creativity blocked only by the barriers they’ve placed upon themselves, like a child afraid to colour outside the lines. Colour any way you want to, Son. Okay, Dad. (See, I am a good parent!) For those who plot, there are generally no surprises or new discoveries when they write because they are focussed on the task at hand. Their inability to explore past their boundary or deviate from their script can also make their characters or scenes seem flat or uninteresting.

Plodders are those who generally just start writing, and plod along to wherever their imagination takes them, like adventurers in a new land. They may start with an idea, a situation, or a character, but they write off the cuff, tapping into their unconscious mind, having no idea where they’re going or what they may discover. Writing this way can be exciting but it can also waste time as you allow yourself to explore, because, as your story becomes focussed, scenes that don’t fit have to be discarded or rewritten and your story can feel disconnected and hard to read. Concentrate, stop wasting time and use your imagination. Okay, Dad. (woo hoo, I’m on fire!) Plus, those who plod usually have stories that peter out because their ideas can be random and scattered.

Now, we all have a bit of both at times, but you are generally classed as one or the other. So the aim is to have a good balance of both. Plotters need to let their imaginations loose on occasion, to tear up those plans and dare to explore their unconscious minds further. Plodders need to have at least a brief outline or plan before they begin, to take time to ensure the accuracy of details so they can avoid issues that come with lack of preparation.

So remember, plan and explore, plot and plod, and dare to get there by any means necessary—consciously or unconsciously. Okay, Son? Okay, Dad. (wow, this parenting thing is easy!)

A Brief Tale of Mr. and Mrs. P

Mrs. P was walking with Mr. P, and poor Mr. P was just ambling along, wandering around and exploring everything that interested him. Mrs. P was getting frustrated because she had an agenda of where she wanted to go and Mr. P was slowing her down terribly. But Mr. P was quite content to let his curiosity lead him in every which way it fancied. ‘Exploration leads to inspiration,’ he would say. So, Mrs. P decided to go on without him, she wasn’t prepared to waste her time and be side-tracked unnecessarily. ‘Preparation leads to motivation,’ she would counter. Eventually, Mr. P caught up with her and wondered what all the fuss was about, after all, they were now both in the same place and the result was the same, it just took him a little bit longer that’s all. He smiled with satisfaction, and perhaps there was a hint of arrogance mixed with that smile, but it very quickly disappeared when he saw Mrs. P smiling, too. Oh, no, that wasn’t good. She had a plan and he was sure to pay for it later!

Are you a Plotter or a Plodder?

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How many of you still use pen and paper to write your story?

Look, I know that I am: old school (having grown up in a time and place where a child’s imagination turned sticks and stones into the toys so desperately wanted), old fashioned (if you saw the cell phone I still use, you’d be shocked), and yes, wait for it … old (well, older says he as he watches another birthday fly past).

But, it’s not a bad thing to use the tools and methods that are comfortable to you, and I am not ashamed to wear those labels like badges of honour. Yes people, I am proud to say that the pen is my friend!

For me, nothing beats the pen and paper to extract my ideas, or to outline and plot story, characters, or chapters. I can scribble or dot point, circle or delete, I can fill every space with notes if necessary, and I can join pages and paragraphs with wild arrows and streaks, rendering the once crisp and clean page to look haggard and battle-scarred, leaving me satisfied—productive.

The laptop stops my momentum and hinders my progress. My typing is too slow and I can’t bear those underlined words on screen. I am compelled to fix them before I can move forwards, and so the thread of an idea or burst of inspiration that I am trying so hard to hang on to disappears like a snapped line on a fishing rod.

My trusty pen friend allows me to go with the flow, sometimes non-stop, until the well of my imagination is dry. It doesn’t give me the option of forever going back to correct typos or grammatical errors and is always moving me forwards, mistakes and all, pushing me to rest only when the blank page is full or every writing minute accounted for.

I will only go to the laptop once my writing is done, to type it up and correct it and I consider that my first edit.

How do you guys work?

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