I started writing Yosemite Rising when my marriage was on the edge of ending. It saved me. I wasn’t thinking about publishing or agents then. It was something to occupy my sleepless nights watching the moon coasted through a sea of stars. I wasn’t paying attention to the rules of writing. I wrote to keep myself looking at the stars instead of the ground.
Once I reached 20,000 words and gotten to the farthest part of the story I could see, I turned to the publishing industry to guide me further. In some ways it was the worst thing I could’ve done, but in every way I learned so much.
Literary people love to rip apart a plot, dissect it, look for all the parts required to create and execute a good story. I agree there are certain parts that you need, but how you get them—has to be your own journey.
One of the most emphasized things you come across for crafting that perfect book is plot.
I tried organizing plot with post-it notes.
Then I printed out the whole book and laid out the pages by scene, then tried to organize them.
In the process, I found out that I don’t enjoy plotting, at least not to the extent of pinpointing each bump along the road (like the snowflake effect). For me, the act of writing and storytelling looses its magic if the writer knows what’s going to happen.
When I sit down to write, I have a beginning, an idea of the huge plot twist, and the end. Everything else is a surprise. That’s what makes all the sleepless nights worth it.
Since I started writing, at least eight different plots swirl in my head at a time, all different stories. Some have been there a few years now, waiting, fighting to be told next.
I’m looking forward to discovering all the little things about them along the way.
And when I feel like I’m doing it all wrong—like I’m the only one who thinks plotting kills all creativity, I re-read On Writing by Stephen King. He says:
“Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort and the dullard’s first choice.”And for a moment, I feel good about breaking all the rules.
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