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Thursday, October 01, 2015

And My Head Explodes

I'm not a plotter. Oh, sure, I kind of have a framework, but it's loose enough where I don't feel strangled by it, but it gives me structure. With the Work In Progress (WIP), though, I've tried to do a little more advanced planning. It makes my head hurt. Okay, maybe more like explode.

Asking questions like what's going to happen to push my character to change leaves me foundering. I know what kicks off the story. My heroine arrives in town after more than a decade away to find that everything has changed while she's been away. But is this the incident that forces her to change? I could argue that the incident that forced change was when she decided to return to the town. That happens off screen.

Although, maybe the incident that forces her to change is when she discovers what she loves to do. She doesn't like her job that well, but feels she has no other choice. Yet, in the story, she discovers what she wants to do for a career. To keep that pleasure, she's going to have to make changes and be innovative.

Except, well, none of these things really is enough. I think it's a progression of things that gets the heroine to change and grow. There's the decision to return to town, there's the changes she sees once she's there, there's the discovery of her passion, there's meeting the hero and all these things work together to not only get her to start changing, but to continue changing. It needs to be a journey because people don't like change and will retreat to the familiar any time they can.

Which means it's really hard for me to come up with the inciting incident. There's multiple inciting incidents all working together to foster change. And this is just one question in the plotting book I read. None of the other questions are any easier for me. I feel like a plotting failure.