QUICK FIX: Losing the plot
(Writers’ Forum, January 2008)

Have you lost the plot lately? Did you begin writing from an inspirational idea only to find that half way through your story you had absolutely no idea what would happen next – let alone how it might end?

If you have lost the plot the answer is quite simple. Find it!

There are a number of ways to rediscover a lost plot:

    Keep writing and trust that your creativity will step in – you may be surprised

    Transport one of your characters to a completely different situation and see how they react – you might gain some insight which will drive the plot in another direction

    Decide on the ending – then allow the middle to unfold

    Identify the theme of the story – what’s it’s really about - and how you want your characters to change by the end

    Draw a mind-map or flow chart of possible scenarios and endings. Then try making an outline of how the story could work using different combinations

    Use the ‘what if’ thought - what if a character does this instead of that? What if the ending is poignant instead of happy?

    Don’t always go for the most obvious ending – try for an alternative which hasn’t been used before

Remember – the plot is never really lost. It has simply taken an alternative route for a while and searching for it will take you down a number of paths which will make your story all the stronger.


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