Monday, March 28, 2016

Plots Are Us

Writers are often asked, “Where do you come up with ideas for your books?” I’ve been known to jokingly answer, “I buy them at Plots Are Us.” Wouldn’t it wonderful if such a store existed?

When I started to write my latest book, Affliction, I had a kernel of an idea, but not a complete plot. Just for fun, I visited an online plot generator and typed in "twenty-two year old woman," "stolen babies," "city in the mountains," and "Harley-Davidson riding boyfriend." Here's the result: A young woman is hiking in the mountains. She finds a baby hidden under a bush. She calls her motorcycle-riding boyfriend. He picks her up and they zip down the highway with the baby tucked between them. The End. A bestseller, for sure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
According to Webster the word plot means (1) a secret plan, usually evil or unlawful, (2) the main story of a literary or dramatic work, (3) a small piece of ground and (4) to mark on a map, the course of a ship. Now, we’re talking! Combine those elements and you’ve got a story to tell.

Plots are currently weighing heavily on my mind. I’m writing Allegiance, the second book in the Soul Seeker Series and kicking myself as I do so. Why? Because, in a weak moment, I decided the book needed three separate plot lines. Insane? Yes, I know. So now, all three plots need to be resolved in a realistic fashion. Adding to my dilemma is the fact that the story is in first person, which means the resolutions can only be revealed as my main character uncovers them. Trust me when I say I will never do this again. The good news is, I’m 2/3 done with the book. One of the plotlines has been resolved. Two to go. Providing I don’t go crazy first.

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