Thursday, December 09, 2010

Plot? What Plot?


Hear that? That's the sound of yours truly hitting the dreaded Writer's Block.

You see, I can't seem to go forward with my Themistocles novel. Why? The pacing is all wrong.

I read once that often people struggle with pacing because they don't have a concrete plot. My plot is about the rise and fall of Ancient Greece's best military strategist. It's a fictional autobiography. The idea is to cover his entire life (which was fascinating from beginning to end). Yet how can I do that when 80% of the story takes place in the MIDDLE of his life? I don't relish the idea of starting the tale during the Persian Wars. It strikes me as disjointed. Any ideas?



Gregory House said...

Sounds like a good idea for a story i remember in the later 1970's reading a similar auto bio of Themistocles in novel form. I take you have already outlined a plot map for the character? What I found useful wiht a blockage was to leap ahead and write a chapter or two then if it looks good keep going. Before you know it half the story is written and you have a clear guide ahead. Anyway hope that helps.

Gary Corby said...

Homer in the Iliad boiled the Trojan War down to the last few days, plus a significant amount of back story. A similar structure, perhaps?

Also, when Hemingway said to murder your darlings, he was right.

Of course I know nothing about what you're trying to achieve, so take my comments with a few tons of salt.

Mark Noce said...

Make sure to always play with time a little in a plot. Start the story as far forward as possible and other things that went before can be explain along the way:)

Gabriele C. said...

There's no reason why you can't have one chapter for his childhood / teenage time, and 20 about his life when it's most fun.

Or you can use flashbacks. They are a bit tricky to work in but there's no reason not to try it.

Good luck and Merry Christmas.