Tag Archives: Christopher Vogler plot outline

Trying (& Failing) to Get Back into the Writing Swing…

So some weeks back (make that months?) I decided to give myself a little break from the Ella story. That break morphed into a brake…as in dead stop. How can I express how much I’d like to and yet would not like to get back into the writing swing of things?

Today, for example…. Okay, said I, Let us create a SCHEDULE. There’s nothing like a list, nothing like a scheduled set of tasks, to make yourself do things, right?

Lordie! I can’t even work up the energy to start making any such schedule. So tired am I, at 11:31 a.m., that I can hardly hold my head up. All I want to do is bolt down lunch and go back to bed.

What have I done today?

Well…

  • Up at 4 a.m..
  • Read incoming email, social media notices, national & local news
  • Out the door at 5 for a two-mile walk with the dog
  • Fed the dog
  • Fed the birds
  • Fixed breakfast; ate same while watching dove feeding frenzy and reading The Economist
  • Washed two weeks’ worth of laundry
  • Cleaned and did chemical balance maintenance on the pool.
  • Watered all the plants in prep for today’s predicted 114-degree heat.
  • Caught up with email correspondence.
  • And now am waiting for the frozen shrimp to defrost so I can fix the mid-day meal, after which I will probably crash into the sack for a lengthy siesta — about the only way anyone can survive a low-desert July afternoon, even with the AC and a roomful of fans running at full blast.

The best I’ve done so far is to reflect that part of my problem with Ella is that the Ella story has no plot. It was, after all, enough of a challenge to present two stories running in tandem, one in real time in one as flashback. The matter, however, is much complicated by the fact that one of these story lines does have a plot (sort of) and one is pretty amorphous.

What IS a plot? Let us discuss that in another post: I’m too tired just now to build a reasonably clear explanation of what plot is and how it works. So…later, with that. As with all things in my life just now, apparently.

So yes: I do know approximately how the 12 stages of plot direct Ella’s experience on the alien moon of Zaitaf. Except that her story is rather more complicated than Vogler’s formula for genre story.

Therein may lay the problem: possibly the plot is too complex. Possibly I need to rethink it and simplify the action. Maybe progress is being blocked because the brain just does NOT want to do the work required to choreograph the characters through that dance.

What I need to do, I guess, is fit the amorphous into the…morphous: into a plot outline that can direct the action. This will relieve me of having to think so hard about where things are going and how the story unfolds. All that will left to do is…well…unfold.

Videlicet:

Arrrghh! Lunch-time!!!!