Last week on the Southern Writers' Blog, my day was up. I was at a loss for words (truly). So I wrote about something I'd like to know more about: I wrote a few words about Plotting.
It's best to learn from the experts, right? So I'm rereading a Writer Magazine article about plot, featuring Dennis Lehane, Gayle Lynds and Stuart Woods, three who know of which they speak. Dennis is in charge of the Eckerd College Writers in Paradise conference- a fantastic week in St. Petersburg, Florida, in January just when the weather should be at its best. He spoke to us last year throughout the week, and let me just say I was hanging on most of his words. So when I found the Writer Magazine interview I'd saved, I reread it. And it is full of gems.
Lehane on plotting:
I put a character on the page and I have him want something-it could be as simple as a cup of coffee-and he goes out to get that thing. And hopefully, he bumps into another character and then another and conflict will gradually develop. I'm not a good plotter in the early stage of a novel. The trick is to remind yourself that no one's ever going to see those early stages of a book, so let yourself loose and let your characters loose and see what happens. Then go back and rewrite it all to make it look fluid.
Whew. Great advice. Now I can begin something new, messy and disorganized, without fear of anyone peeping...
Related posts: Writers in Paradise, 2009
The Dreaded Plot