Blogging and plot blocks


I’m new to blogging, both as a writer and as a regular reader. (Yes, I do live under a rock. Thank you for asking.) In recent months I’ve enjoyed discovering worthwhile blogs and writers who (apparently) put themselves out there with enviable ease. It’s encouraging to realize there are so many great people out here, sharing their expertise, their experience, and their great good humor.

One of my recent finds is Brandilyn Collin’s Forensics & Faith blog. It is a now a permanent fixture in my rss reader. Ms. Collin’s June 3 entry resonated with me especially. Titled It’s Writer’s Block, You Blockhead, this particular article has made me nothing less than a fan.

Brandilyn bemoans those irritating people that declare writer’s block as nothing more than the lame excuse of a lazy writer. Certainly for a professional writer, writer’s block would be a frightening specter worthy of anyone’s sympathy. I have little use for those literary snobs, myself, but writer’s block, per se, has never been much off an issue for me (sorry, Brandilyn).

As the entry unfolds, though, Brandilyn admits that her issue is not actual writer’s block, but what she calls plotting block. Ah! now she’s singing my bar of blues. I can come up with great characters, I have files of research, scribbled short but succinct descriptions, and dialog guaranteed to to drive both plot and character development while still managing to sparkle. But too often rational plot eludes me. I have a book of characters chomping at the bit, with just enough plot to get them off the ground — but not enough to get them over the finish line. It’s an old problem. Unlike real life, fiction must make sense. Which is probably why so many of us prefer it to reality.

Unfortunately, other than recommending patience, Ms. Collins offers no cure for our mutual ailment. Well, of course, she doesn’t; if she had the cure, she wouldn’t be wasting good writing time complaining of the disease, would she?

Well, good luck, Ms. Collins. Hang in there. All us writer rather-be’s are counting on you.

But no stress.

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