How Do I Do This?

Forums Fiction Plotting How Do I Do This?

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    I feel kind of dumb asking this question because hey, I’ve outlined before and successfully written a story…but it’s time to face the facts: when it comes to plotting the actual plot, I’m no good.

    I love creating characters, and worldbuilding more or less comes pretty naturally. But the plot? Man. I sit down with the intention of giving my characters a story, and…nothing.

    Take my latest WIP for instance. I have the general arc of the story–I know my MCs come across, run from, and eventually get captured by a band of thieves, which leads to my male MC becoming a palace guard, which leads to him rescuing the princess, which leads to the unmasking of my villain–but the moments in between elude me. How do you come up with the tiny transitions that lead to bigger events?

    Do you write them all down or let them happen? Both work for me, sometimes, but beyond that, I got nothing.

    Lemme know what y’all think! Tips? Tricks?


    @seekjustice @daeus-lamb @jane (tag those you deem necessary, I stink at tags)

    INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.

    I, David

    I am sitting here with you, @elizabeth. I make it solely through guesswork, which manages, but is inherently flawed in its strategy.


    The Fledgling Artist

    @elizabeth AH- SAME! 😮 😮 How do even write??

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."


    @elizabeth I’m a little bit in the same boat regarding my WIP, but I’m just going ahead and writing it, because I know that I can’t grasp everything at once, and certainly not in my first draft. When I come back the second time and finally can see everything from a much broader place, that’s when I’ll work in the foreshadowing, fix plot holes, and find better things for the transitions and small moments.

    After all, the small moments are either the cause or the effect of the big ones, so I would say if you know all the implications your big plot points are going to have (which for me comes after writing it) then you can add all those emotions and details in the right places the second time through.

    So I’m on the “let it just happen (and edit a lot later)” side. (But then I haven’t even gone through a full-length novel yet, so my advice probably isn’t the best.)


    INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

    Eden Anderson



    I struggle with this same thing…it takes me at least a year or more to come up with a plot. Even longer to fill in all the holes.


    Gonna be stalking this thread!

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky


    @elizabeth, Wish I could give you some advice, but this is something I’ve always struggled with too. Like I’ll have an amazing idea for characters or a theme, but I’m completely lost when it comes to creating an actual plot. XP

    Gonna have to stalk this thread too.


    “Creativity takes courage” -Henri Matisse

    The Fledgling Artist

    @chalice @eden-anderson Really?? Honestly that makes me feel a little better about my progress.

    "Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."

    Eden Anderson


    🙂 We, including the really good writers, all have areas where we struggle. When it comes to writing I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single writing challenge that only one person struggles with. I have to keep reminding myself of this…

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky


    @the-fledgling-artist, Okay, maybe not completely lost, but  I do have trouble coming up with original plots that interest me. 🙂


    “Creativity takes courage” -Henri Matisse

    Taylor Clogston

    This is one of the biggest things I struggle with. I just want to write little fast-paced linear things without a million meandering pages of boring stuff in between like every book ever does. But apparently people don’t like reading that, so I’m out of luck =P

    I’ve read two things regarding this which make sense but which I’m having trouble implementing. The first is that subplots exist not only for character and theme development, but also for pacing. You can get away with some time manipulation (in universe or just to give the reader a breather) by putting subplot scenes in between your structurally-necessary ones.

    Secondly, I’ve read that giving yourself a checklist of what needs to happen between points A and B can be helpful, and then you just divide those points up between an arbitrary number of scenes, and make sure each scene is also serving character and theme at the same time.

    "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

    Cassandra Hamm

    For me, I can come up with an overarching plot, but if my characters do something different along the way, I go with what they want, so I’m not the best person to help here. XD I guess I would be more supportive of discovery writing–letting the characters figure out the transitions. If the story you’re writing is natural to the characters, they’ll take you to the right places. And if they take you to different places than you planned, well, you might need to think about a different plot. (This is coming from a pantser, if you couldn’t tell. XP)

    I crush readers' souls like grapes.

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