Friday, 24 July 2015

Losing the Plot.

After the third assignment for my Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Writing course got me some mixed feedback, I decided to teach myself a little more about its topic: plot. 

So what is a plot? I think we all know the answer to that one: it's the series of events that make up a story. But up until I got the feedback for my assignment back, it never really occurred to me that there was more to it than that. So today I took it upon myself to research one of the most important parts of writing. 

And boy, did I learn a lot. 

Who here knows about story structure? We know that there are five main parts to a story, right? Those who don't can read about Dramatic Structure on Wikipedia. It's something that I've been reading about all day, because while I've always known that a story is comprised of five main parts, I've never really educated myself on them much. I'm more a beginning, middle, end sort of person. But today I learned about Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Dénouement

I consider it a marvel that without really knowing about these things, my story Lost managed to cover each of them. 

What is more of a marvel to me is that when I say Lost came to me fully formed, it really did. It came with its exposition, its rising action, its climax and its falling action and its dénouement. I didn't have to think about any of them. They were all there for me, ready to be written. And in hindsight, this is likely why the story turned out so well and was so easy to write. 

And it's likely the reason that everything else has been giving me trouble since. 

I thought I had The Angel of Vengeance pretty well thought out. I first drafted it during Camp NaNoWriMo in 2013, and I've always known what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story - both the first novel, and the trilogy itself. But today when I took the five points of dramatic structure and tried to fill them out with my story information, I realised something startling. 

I have no climax! 

I used to. When I first drafted the story, I had a climax. It wasn't perfect, but I had one. But after I finished that first draft, I changed a whole lot - I added a new character, I changed my antagonist, moved things around. And now my old climax doesn't work anymore, so I have nothing. 

It was a shock to me. And while it really got me down at first, because it was a huge setback, I'm also glad that I've come to the realisation now instead of further down the track, where it could seriously impact the story. 

I was always a fan of writing as I went, winging things, letting my characters surprise me as much as I was surprising my readers. But after the success I felt after writing Lost, I feel like planning ahead and knowing the exact direction I'm going in works better - and I want to try that out for a while, and hope that it helps my writing. 

So now it's time to think on a new climax.

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