Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Dead plots

Very interesting post from Justine Larbalestier (author of the "Magic or Madness" trilogy and "How to Ditch Your Fairy") here about what to do when your plot feels a bit dead or you're just horribly stuck.

I like the fact that she uses the square brackets device too (see my previous post) but the piece of advice that most struck a chord with me was the idea of drawing a summary of what's going on in your plot.

Part of my day job involves redesigning text-based learning so that it appeals to different kinds of learners, particularly visual learners. As a visual learner myself, I find it really helps to draw or see concepts instead of trying to digest reams of text (which is probably why I 'see' all my novels as films when I'm writing them) so I'm definitely going to take Justine's 'stick figures, squares, squiggles and straight lines' advice on board the next time I get stuck (because there will be a next time, there always is!)

Oh - and even if you're not interested in find out how to go about re-starting a dead plot do go and visit Justine's blog anyway. She's declared January open season on writing questions - so go ahead and ask her for some advice if there's a question to do with novel-writing you desperately need answering.


KAREN said...

That's really useful as I tend to 'see' my novel as I'm writing it too. I'm off to check out her blog :o)

(Word verification is 'uncool' How mean is that?)

Fionnuala said...

Thanks Cally. I've just printed this off - having said that its come out so tiny that I'm going to have to find my glasses! Fx

angelesque said...

I so do the square braqckets thing too! Although rather arrogantly I thought that was just a me-thing :)