Plotting/Pantsing aren't working out…what now?

Forums Fiction Plotting Plotting/Pantsing aren't working out…what now?

This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  KR LaLonde 2 months ago.

Viewing 2 posts - 16 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • #90594


    Here’s something I wrote that’s not the actual story. And the biggest problem with it is that it’s not finished. And I haven’t continued it in a long time.

    I really like this, actually. Very mysterious. I thought perhaps the woman and the man weren’t exactly the person he was supposed to be interviewing, and perhaps the woman had some connection to a fantasy world?

    Not sure what happened to the real interviewee, either. Late? Kidnapped? Is this the real interviewee, and this is all a setup with some secret from the journalist’s dark past? Hmm.

    I have so many bits and pieces of stories…. As a result, I’m pretty sure I could never do what Clipboard has suggested. Ending the stories where they are wouldn’t work. And in my mind, the ending is the end. Does that make sense? Like this one:

    Hmm. Okay, this state is a little bit different from what I originally envisioned. Again, this story is extremely good – it’s what may be called dark idiosyncratic humor.

    Do any or a lot of these “fragments” and stories actually share characters in common? The problem may be less perfectionism and more like that you have so many plot ideas for the same characters that you want to do them all, and they are competing in your head for the honor of being The Plot. You get like 2 pages into one plot idea, then your brain gets attached to another idea and you want to do that one.

    I used to have that problem, heh…it actually goes back to importance and theme, because you’re suffering from postmodern fragmentation of story in this case. Other than identifying the fragments that share elements in common and stitching them together using reality bending and postmodern storytelling techniques, the best solution is to ask yourself: What theme or meaning am I trying to convey with these characters? Because that’s notably missing from the two story fragments you’ve posted here.

    Everything else is beautifully done. The settings are compelling, the characters are engaging, and you’ve got the concepts square. But if you don’t have any meaning, any truth that you’re trying to get to your audience, you’ll burn out because you feel that your work and your writing is meaningless and you’ll stop. Sure, you’re good at it, but what’s the point? Human beings aren’t designed to exist in meaninglessness and do meaningless work.

    (Now you could make “writing is meaningless” the theme of your work and stitch it, but I don’t recommend this course of action. It’s not Christian writing. If you want to do postmodern writing, that’s your own choice…but this will lead to depression quickly. Postmodernism is an intellectual philosophy that life is meaningless and fragmented; depression is the feeling that life is meaningless which leads to actual psychological fragmentation.)

    This doesn’t mean that your story has to be like Bibleman – far from it. That’s part of the point of Story Embers is to place Christian themes into one’s writing without being cheesy. But it needs to have a point. Perhaps the second story is about the despair of working in the modern workplace. We have an abusive boss taking advantage of someone who is psychologically fragile to start with. Maybe another character is gaming for a promotion and cheesing off his coworkers. Only God provides satisfaction and hope – the modern workplace clearly does not. Maybe that’s the theme.

    Or maybe you just started it in the office to explain the first character’s decision to quit her job and start her own business. Maybe the theme is that’s better. I don’t know, it’s your story. I’m trying to help you, but if what I’m saying doesn’t work, ignore my bad advice. It seems that I’m still not understanding your problem very well. There has to be a reason why you’re not finishing your stories, unless you just hate writing for some reason.

    You clearly have the skill, but that’s not an obligation. I actually have language-learning abilities that allow me to retain the Spainish I’ve learned much easier than others and learn over 6 programming languages.  I’m here to tell you that I highly dislike programming despite the fact that I can do it very easily, and I should not be doing it the rest of my life as a career. It strikes me as meaningless and it’s not good for me. You don’t have to like everything that you are good at.

    Anywho, I hope some of this helps.

    Sarah, Miss S, Sierepica_Fuzzywalker


    KR LaLonde

    I’ve recently become aware of a different kind of outline. The Reverse Outline. It could possibly work. What do you think? Is it worth a try?


Viewing 2 posts - 16 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Learn What Readers Want

We compiled and analyzed how 300+ readers answered 18 questions about what they want to see in fiction. Get the free e-book and we'll also regularly send you resources to help you grow as a writer.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest