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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » jumbled plot

   
Author Topic: jumbled plot
chemo_man
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Have you all ever read a story written by someone who didn't actually define the plot before he/she started writing it? In essence, the writer just starts writing and improvises what is going on as he goes. I have always enjoyed works like this, nad in fact it is how I generally have written short stories in the past using this method. I was just curious as to how you all felt about stories written this way.
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'Graff
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I have the sinking suspicion that this is levied directly at me.

-----------
Wellington


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chemo_man
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I did not aim this directly at anybody here. This is actually my style of writing, and i was curious as to if this is a style that is useful, or if i should abandon it. Any resemblence to anyone here is purely coincidental.
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ethersong
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Um, I like random plots but I like them the best when they connect back together to form some purpose. I don't know if I like the word "jumbled" to describe something I like. BUt I do love those plots that seem to just twist all around...they are more interesting than normal.

However, I've tried the whole plot as you go thing and it seems to get me more confused than anything. I have to sit down and think it through during it. But even then, the story will often take a life of its own. In which case, its not jumbled, its natural...at least for you


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Leigh
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I often just write without thinking about a plot. It all depends on what goes on through my sick mind when I begin writing. Some days I just write, and then when I have written, probably around 1500 words and I see what is forming, I see something there and go on from there.

Only once have I ever thought about a plot and continued on with it. It didn't have the strength I wanted it to have, but then I made it a shorter novel.


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Johnmac1953
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I don't think I write the way you describe - but I do know someone who writes that way ALL the time...
Now I do love him to bits - he's larger than life yet full of insecurities and he writes in such an untidy way...at first I did not want to read it...Then something clicked, I began to see how he actually writes directly from the heart - no shortcut, he just does not think grammer etc is THAT important or as important as the actual writing and what he wants to convey.
What he writes is usually emotionally fraugh...anyway, to answer the question. Yes, this kind of writing has its place but a lot of people will not read it because of the errors.
Best Wishes
John Mc...

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Aalanya
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Hm...

To me you've gotta have a good arching plot for the overall story to be fully pleasing. Jumbled suggests uncoordinated. I prefer to have a story with lots of little rises and falls getting bigger and bigger until the climax. Jumbled or circular stories often don't have that.


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Grimslade
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If it helps you get words on paper, then it is a great method.

You can obsessively plan and plot out your story with elaborate outlines and character studies.

You can sketch a quick synopsis of a few paragraphs or..

You can let the characters run rampant through your mind.

The first draft is getting words on a page. All things will change in a rewrite. The second draft (and third or fourth) allow you to tighten up plot, expand subplots and insert foreshadowing.
If the final story seems to be a meandering stream of conciousness piece, you will limit your audience, especially in fantasy and scifi. It comes across as lazy and slapdash to some readers.

Personally, I write my first drafts with no real plan for plot. I just let the characters interact and see what bubbles up. Themes start to emerge within the first few pages and I start to explore them. By the end of the first draft, I have a pretty good idea where I'm going. The rewrite tightens and adds depth.

Write the way you want. If you think while putting words to paper, so be it. Everyone has a different method and this is a viable one.

Grim


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apeiron
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The thing about figuring out the plot as you go is that you do tend to reference back to earlier parts, even if you weren't sure of their significance when you first wrote them. And that's the main thing for me--it all has to tie in together. Take, for example, the first author that came to mind when I read this topic: Douglas Adams. He wrote with no plan at all, and yet many elements that were just thrown in there for comedic effect gain later significance. (For example, the bowl of petunias...And no, if you've only seen the movie, you won't get their significance. But I don't think that's a problem for most hatrackers. )
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Jeraliey
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I think Stephen King writes like that.
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chemo_man
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lol, alot of my style has been influenced by douglas adams. i especially liked the bowl of petunias sub-plot in later stories. I once wrote a story that went on for a page and a half telling the reader what the story isn't about. drove most of the people who read it nuts, but it got me an A, lol.
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pjp
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Stephen King has said that he writes in the same manner. I immensely enjoy the journey of his stories (though not always the climax and ending).

I'm currently finding it difficult to write something, as I haven't found the "two ideas" to mix into a resulting story (I have a main idea, and have extended it, but not found the other major component yet). When I've thought of just writing and seeing what happens, I'm left with the feeling that it wouldn't be compelling. I suppose I'll just force myself to write, and see what happens.


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