Round Robin—Plot problems and failures, June 2021

It’s that time of the month again where I actually talk about writing. And you can thank Robin for that.  I know my blog has been taken over with swimming, but I really do write and edit. LOL The swimming ones are easy because I have to craft those workouts on the spot. By the time I sit down, the workout is over and the hard part is done. This is a little more challenging because Robin asks hard questions. She makes me think. Although thinking can be overrated, in this case, it’s a good thing. Regardless, this month, we’re discussing how we recognize and overcome plot problems or failures.

Shockingly, I’m getting this done earlier than usual (as in not at midnight the night before). LOL Every month, I tell myself I’m going to do this earlier and not wait until the last minute. Every month, the days get away from me, I look up from my computer and it hits me I’ve got a post to write. Yes, I need to be more organized. I have some excuses, but they are just that. I like writing these blog posts and I enjoy reading what everyone else has to say on these subjects, so I keep doing them. Now, on to the regularly scheduled program. 🙂

Plot Problems/Failures

This is something that happens once or twice a story for me possibly because I’m a pantser. Sometimes, what I’m writing just isn’t working. I can feel it’s not working, but I push on anyway because I’ve already invested a certain amount of time into the failure and it’s really hard to admit I’ve wasted that time. But, then, every word is like diving for pearls with every clam empty and I find I’m at an impasse with the characters. Rather than being on the dance floor doing the tango, they’re on the sidelines tapping their toes, giving me the gimlet eye that promises retribution if I don’t fix it soon. If I continue to push on, writing crappy prose, they just leave the room entirely.

And I don’t blame them. Who wants to stick around if someone asks for your advice then doesn’t bother to listen? I mean, it doesn’t take long before you realize you’re wasting your breath. Why bother?

My current WIP has something like this going on now, but I am listening to them. We’re just negotiating what’s going to happen. (grin) You see, I know I have a limited amount of space for this story (25,000 words), and I’m currently at 12,000 or so. It’s a shapeshifter romance. I know what the characters want to have happen . . . eventually, and I’m still where they are meeting each other for the first time. How could I spend that amount of words on this first meeting? I don’t know. There are a lot of moving parts (8 characters, although only 2 main characters have POVs). They want the scenes as they are, but I know we need to move on soon, and not just because the words are burning away quickly. The plot needs to move forward. This is where we’re negotiating.

Let me tell you, they are very good negotiators. LOL

So, the setup is taking a bit of time, but there will be a good payoff. They will make sure of it. Can I do it in another 13,000 words? Well, I’m going to have to if I want it to be part of this anthology. LOL I’ve got 11 more days to find out. I’ll let you know it goes. 🙂

I’ve done a lot of deleting and massaging scenes. I’m sure there is still more to do. There always is.

That’s my process. I’d like to say it’s a deep one, but it really isn’t. For me, it’s pretty straight forward. I either obey or find the empty clam.

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