Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PLOT: Lessons From High School English, a WPT Post

Quick Update: Nothing much. Unless almost spontaneously combusting in the Arizona heat last week when our AC gave out counts.

As matured authors and writers, I hope you at least know the basics of grammar, stories, and literature. Well, too bad, because you're backing up some years to high school English class! Aren't you excited?

Aforementined in my previous, update post, we're covering the basics once more. Today's lesson...PLOT.

We all know plot. It's the meat of the book. Chubby and complicated or slim and angular, plot is the challenges that face your precious hero, or so only Nathan Bransford himself says. No plot would be like Harry Potter staying with the Muggles, making friends at a normal school, and not fighting back. And certainly not facing any complications like half-giants or owls. If your characters are going down a straight, peaceful path where everything works out, plot is what rudely shoves them off. As writers, you just have to figure out how they get back up, bruised but stronger (or with a broken ankle, whichever you prefer).

What really interested me is that in class, the dumbed-down definition given to my fellow students was this: plot is the sequence of events in a story. That really made my eye twitch. Good stories aren't a "sequence of events". They're a sequence interrupted by a haywire, uncontrollable force, and the rest of the story is an attempt to get the events back in order. Until the main character learns from it.

Plot is, of course, one of the best ways to show off your creativity as a writer. After all, you are the one who creates this outside, inevitable force, you're the one who throws the Dupree into a newly-married couple or brings the fangs into a high-school relationship. You get to be the one who throws routine away and exchanges for this multi-choice fantasy.

Have fun.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Catching Up With SSF

Quick Update: Well...hello there.

So, maybe (or maybe not) you figured out I have been away from Blogger and Twitter for...oh, say nearly three weeks? There is a reason. I assure you.

In short, I am a student witohout internet access at home. My female parental in Tucson (who I visited for the summer) had broadband, so of course I took advantage of that. Now that I am back in my actual town for school, I have to figure out a way to either get on the computers here at school, or go to the town's only public library to catch up with my awesome writer friends. You know...you guys.

So, right now I happen to be on a school computer (shhhh) since I had to type up a World Literature essay anyways. In the past two/three weeks, I haven't done much, unless watching five hours STRAIGHT of Buffy the Vampire Slayer last Saturday, and waking up on time on week-day mornings counts as accomplishments.

However, I'm delighted to say my usual writing time, during class notes (another shhhh) has been brought back to me. In the past fortnight or so, I have not only written two fight scenes and a sorrowful death, but blog posts are cooking up as well. Heck, I might even enter the Writers Digest Short Story Contest for the first time this year.

I'm hoping next week or so, I'll post an entry on conflict, plot, and characters, so you can try to look for that. My English/World Literature class is covering the basics before we move onto the Odyssey. Sadly, my class NEEDS a re-cap on everything. Proof of such: three girls who sit around me in class were freaking out about the grammar bellwork. Quotes from their conversation... "What are prepositions again?" "Don't you mean pro-junctions?" I felt like slapping somebody when I heard that.

Also, since I'm in a Web Design class an elective now, hopefully I'll be able to, er, fix this website. My teacher was not happy when he saw how many colors it had. Which is true, but I just worked what Blogger had, I guess.

Thanks for reading, and I'm hoping no one is TOO upset with me. And again, I say goodbye for now (unless I can get on again this week? Maybe? Perhaps?) and apologize with...LOLcatz.