Losing The Plot

Opening Rider:

Whatever inane and puerile image WP is feeding you at the head of this post, it should be……..

 

Placeholder Image

Anyway to the business at hand.

Losing the plot

No, I do not actually mean the reaction you get when you have another rejection letter Victorian image

Or if you’ve been having one too many relaxing quaffs of your favourite beverage Mockery

Or maybe just confused by the entire day  (as we do)

Commentary

OR an observation on WP’s various bits of nonsense and failure to take care of our blogs

Screenshot (12)

(It’s the end of the World as we know it…..)

No, I am referring to those occasions when in the midst of a writing project you notice that you have become so immersed in the characters, their surroundings, or something to do with the interactions of the aforementioned that the plot had sort of drifted away…

7

So you start out with a plot yes? And naturally you need to have characters (even if it is only a chair in an dusty long forgotten room- well you could). Your characters would have a narrative and a setting. And away you went….Whimsey 1 otherway

 

 

 

 

 

and the next thing you know is you all you want to do is create conversations or descriptions because your characters are so darn interesting, and anyway you do so like the landscapes or environments you have created and people should know about them because they are….. well….. y’know, you think they should, it enhances the plot…..

Placeholder Image

Oh ………….. YesWhimsey 6

 

The Plot

 

Somewhere along the way the reason why everyone was there has sort of got shoved into a corner. There was something important going on, you were sure of it…. well it was important when the narrative started out, bbbbbbut!

Plot Image 1

……. it’s not half as interesting as the simmering possible romance between those two characters who started out as supports or minor protagonists to the central character(s).  They had been separately hired to make a team to hunt that central character;  one being the detective sort and the other being the assassin sort, It’s a great deal of fun to write them bantering over clues as to where the central character might be and each being critical about the other’s profession,…and….like….WOW!  It does seem to work rather well as a sort of rom-com done by the Coen Brothers. And gosh…….

Dangerous couple

They are rather cute together.

MEANWHILE…….

Oh yeah….that central character…..

Melodramatic man

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now where did I leave them with the secret thingamajig with, the….what was the important stuff? Oh yeahhhh, and what did the important stuff have to do with anything?

Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprised

…..maybe it just does not seem as interesting as it was when you started off??

OK, not to worry. Time has not been wasted. You are not a bad writer (I will deduct credits from anyone who says they are). You are not to throw the whole thing away. You have all those words, instances, scenes, dialogue, and so forth. The whole business just needs another look to

Getting an acceptance

Let us, for the sake of argument take the above example and give the situation you are in some thought.

Maybe is it possible the original Plot is just not for you. Sure it is not a bad idea, we know it is has been done before, but there can always be lots of variations. Now there is the clue for you. The variation.

Since you have been naturally drawing to the pair of hunters, these could have been the princiapl characters which were lurking about in the back of your mind as you thought of the original outline. However as we are all prone to outside influences (oh yes we are), you may have been unconsciously drawn to the standard set up. So all you need to do is take a very deep breath, do not destroy what you have created, keep that in a separate folder (clerical or computer) and start again but bear in mind those two hunters will become the central folk. At this juncture I am making a sweeping assumption in that your work is ending up on some sort of computer record, in which case I would give you one of my adages:

In Ctrl+C followed by Ctrl +V I trust….. It is actually the only durn bit of Word I do trust. I shift whole chapters about like that, while keeping in an eye on continuity and time flow though I also cheat, since I write fantasy where Time is not wholly linear as we perceive            Laughing Guy(isn’t he just such a smooth operator?)

So back you go, to re-working this and gently pushing the previous main character and the reason for why they are being pursued a little into the background and concentrate on that couple, because you are working so well with that. Yes, we know that anyone who says they enjoy all of thier writing is going to get looked at sideways by other writers, but you should have some fun in the aforementioned process….otherwise it will not work.

(Aside:Faustus If anyone does want to use the above outline for a project….go ahead…have fun)

The other possibility open to you is to set your shoulders to the wheel and steer the plot back on course:

Sailing Ship

With a few ‘hard a port’  ‘hard a starboard’ tweaks with the realisation that when it comes to your FIRST re-write you will have to do some early amending to make the process smoother.

2

 

It should always be borne it mind that the first draft is always ‘Not a Finished’ product (some folk use the technical term ‘crap’). I like to think of it as a room where you have been putting stuff to be reorganised:

6

Thus you should not worry too much about the plot being slightly askew. Once you have completed the draft you will have the benefit of an allegorical 20/20 hindsight and during your first re-write can steer your course with more certainity, clarity and conductivity [ The word flowed smoothly with the preceding two and on examination of the definition which although referring to matters electrical did have a certain resonance when viewed via the prism of writing – well I thought so].

In short plots like the rest of the writing process can be flexible items there to be adjusted or melded as you see fit as your work progresses.

Thus be of good cheer and strive on.

Thought for the day:

Big Raspberry To Word Press’s Computer Systems

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50 thoughts on “Losing The Plot

  1. I much prefer your ethereal mountain header to the leather-bound notebook page that WP chose for this post. And, while as you know, I haven’t ever managed to write beyond OpEds and blog posts, I can certainly see how characters could run away with the spotlight, leaving plot sobbing quietly in the dark. Someday, my friend, I shall attempt a book and I will turn to you for advice. Until then, I listen and try to store your sage words in my porous mind for future reference.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well Roger, I spent some “quality???” Time chatting with WP Happiness Engineers, Specialists, Experts and etc. I was tense, they were very friendly. Eventually they taught me more tricks for my new iPad and arrived at the conclusion that my email addresses and passwords had gotten twisted up between WP, Google, Microsoft and Apple! After a password reset, it seems like I’m kinda-sorta back on track. Not totally but definitely farther along than I was before. At least I can now post to my blog at. Ixiocali.com and I can leave comments and likes. I’m doing this comment from the iPad – got to let him know who’s boss right off the bat, huh? And look at this, I’m not being asked to login again… well, well, well!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Roger… here’s the text of emails to WP about recurring problems…

        Ok, and for the record, here’s full permission to go on ixiocali.com as if you were me and do whatever needs to be done to fix what needs fixing. Guys, there are no states’ secrets on that site so go for it. Realize that if these problems aren’t resolved I can’t continue with WordPress. I only work with what works. If you discover this is all my fault I apologize in advance. Your mission, guys, should you decide to accept it, is to ensure I can normally and CONSISTENTLY log in to my site and do with it what it is presumably designed to do. Good luck!

        On Oct 19, 2019, at 9:48 AM, WordPress.com wrote:

        Your message is flying through cyberspace to us as you read this.

        Wondering when you’ll hear back from us? We’re typically able to reply within 24 – 48 hours.

        For reference the request you submitted was:

        Site I need help with: http://ixiocali.com

        Good morning – or not – all my problems fixed yesterday are back this morning. I get message ‘user does not exist’ when I type in my email address – which worked yesterday. After convoluted attempts to find a back door I got here after being told my subscription did not succeed and to try again. This is MY BLOG. I was properly subscribed and working with it last night. Please, what is going on?????

        Like

      • Same happens to me lots of time. I have to use a “back door” into my site to activate a page that fakes a login since it won’t accept a login when it asks for one!?!?!?!? You tell me, why doesn’t WordPress have a standard, normal, login process with an actual working “remember me” button? Another one, why do I not receive a copy of my own comments back on email? And why my ‘following’ continually revert back to ‘follow?’ They blame my browser. Well, I’ve used Linux, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and now I’m using Edge. Same result in every case from WordPress, so what does that tell me? I’ve also cleared caches, changed settings up and down, everything with no change in the results. If they basically refuse to, or are incapable of fixing this, I don’t know where that leaves me. You deleted your old blogs and started a new one but looks like you’re encountering problems again. I don’t want to go through all that rigamarole. Anyway, hopefully this comment will not go “poof!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Comment received.
        Last night WP was all over the place. It wouldn’t let me reply to anyone…..To save my laptop (of which I am quite fond) from the injustice of being hurled against a wall I simply shut down and read ‘stuff’.
        This aspect seems to be back to normal…. We shall see though.

        Like

      • FYI: I’ve done three things that so far have put me back in WP’s good graces (for how long?).
        1. I’ve switched to Google Chrome and spent some time in its “Settings” to make sure all was according the the WP contact’s recommendations.
        2. I’ve reset my password.
        3. I’ve made sure “Allow sites to save and read cookie data” is turned ON.
        Here’s the text of my last reply to WP on these issues:

        OK, thanks Yam, I’m working on it. I’ve switch browser from Edge to Google Chrome on this laptop and I’ve reset my password – AGAIN. So far, I’m able to comment on two blogs I could not respond to earlier today. I have “Allow sites to save and read cookie data” turned on.

        I’ve checked on leaving comments on blog https://secretsoftheserpent.com/and the dreaded “log in” lines don’t show up… so maybe I’m in the clear for now. Next I have to resolve these problems on my Safari browser in the iPad and on my Android phone although I think the Android already uses Google Chrome so maybe with all this Geeky stuff it will work properly.
        By the way, so you know, there are a lot of disgruntled, i.e., “pissed off” client bloggers on WordPress at the moment. Maybe it’s high time for WordPress to come clean on what is really going on and issue a general bulletin to all on how to reset our browsers/blogs and once again get going doing what we are here for which is sharing information and ideas, not to be guinea pigs for Google/WordPress. Be fair, issue the bulletin and tell people how to get back on track, will you? If you don’t my friends, we’ll all know you’re hiding something.

        Happiness is a nice sentiment but it doesn’t work when things don’t work: simple deduction.
        Sha’Tara

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah similar experiences to me then. All we had to do was ‘sign’ an umpteen page document agreeing to Googles sovereignty…..sorry…… terms.
        Nice to know that Word Press will be getting lots of hassle, then can pass it onto the Browsers.
        The errors they all make…
        I mean it’s not like Google would arrange for something to go deliberately wrong with other browsers is it? I mean that is such flawed thinking. Is it not?
        (Actually I would be more impressed if they did. I still adhere to the Concept of the Clumsiness in Humanity’s Endeavors)

        Like

      • Gosh! I am shocked!!!
        Do you think so????????
        I was told that business is more responsible because if they do not do their job they get thrown out….leastways that’s what a character said in a Tom Clancy novel……..
        And our governments in the UK, for years have been telling us that Private Enterprise so very efficient it is always best to trust it….And after all our governments are as we know ‘All Honourable Men’ (Thanks Mr Shakespeare).
        OK that’s my sarcasm quota for the hour all used up…..Time to top up on my daily mug of coffee, and find out what ‘The Girls’ have cooked up for me to write…..

        Like

  3. Hi Roger… here’s the text of emails to WP about recurring problems…

    Ok, and for the record, here’s full permission to go on ixiocali.com as if you were me and do whatever needs to be done to fix what needs fixing. Guys, there are no states’ secrets on that site so go for it. Realize that if these problems aren’t resolved I can’t continue with WordPress. I only work with what works. If you discover this is all my fault I apologize in advance. Your mission, guys, should you decide to accept it, is to ensure I can normally and CONSISTENTLY log in to my site and do with it what it is presumably designed to do. Good luck!

    On Oct 19, 2019, at 9:48 AM, WordPress.com wrote:

    Your message is flying through cyberspace to us as you read this.

    Wondering when you’ll hear back from us? We’re typically able to reply within 24 – 48 hours.

    For reference the request you submitted was:

    Site I need help with: http://ixiocali.com

    Good morning – or not – all my problems fixed yesterday are back this morning. I get message ‘user does not exist’ when I type in my email address – which worked yesterday. After convoluted attempts to find a back door I got here after being told my subscription did not succeed and to try again. This is MY BLOG. I was properly subscribed and working with it last night. Please, what is going on?????

    Like

  4. Excellent post. I wonder how many authors have written posts called “Losing the Plot”? I know I did, a few years ago. Perhaps there’s an anthology idea and we’ll all make our fortunes. Anyway, nice to have made your blogging acquaintance and long may it continue, WordPress permitting.

    Like

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