I like to write, and I can create small character vignettes about nearly everything. I also can write dialog without issue. So why is it the idea of creating a story with an actually plot makes me completely freeze up? Eeek, I don't know how to do that. Yet that can't be true. I've read 100s of stories and I know what makes them good and not so good.
Person Q is a [such and such job] and yearns for [some goal] but [something] is standing in the way. How Q overcomes the obstacles is a Story. This is not Nuclear Physics ya know? And there I stand not moving until the oncoming car runs me over.
Though I can go on and on about what it's like just standing there. Maybe I should just go back to eavesdropping in public places--a great source of weird ideas. Especially on people having cell phone conversations with lettuce.
Scenes and conversations and openings and endings and climaxes and all that are easy. I love doing them. I also really struggle to put them together into a story that's not lame or obvious or boring or any of the other things that stories can be. The good thing is (I think) that if you write really well, many people will hardly notice the flaws in the plot. Contrarily, if you can tell stories really well, bad writing is often ignored (many of Steven King's books, for example). I think I'd rather be better at telling stories. Cuz I think it's easier to fix writing.
My friend, Alexander Chow-Stuart is a published writer and Hollywood screen writer. One thing he mentions is to always have a ticking bomb. Not literally, of course, but something that is time sensitive and heightens tension.
Oh like in the book itself? At first I was thinking the writer needed a ticking time bomb to stay motivated to write. Both probably help.
Not so far from the truth for some people. I read once about Douglas Adams (biography somewhere?) that his editor basically locked him in a room with no telephone or TV to get him to finish the last book of one of his series.
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