When I sit down to write, I get character studies and dialogue. I get atmosphere and thought processes. What I don’t get is a whole world of cause and effect. I don’t get action, or movement, or progression. I get 500 words of character X and character Z in a little sketch which can exist by itself or as part of a wider creation. The wider creation is the object which never ends up seeing the light of day. There’s no plot. Character X does not say to character Z that they should be on their way and off they go. If that does happen, it’s the end of the piece. Oh the plot exists somewhere, in the outer realm of things. It lurks in the ether, I’m sure of it. I just don’t write it.
I find myself screaming ‘why, why, why? why can’t I come up with a plot, and follow through?’ I can analyse it, I do all the time. I pick up on signifiers in pretty much everything I watch, read and even listen to. I have a strong grounding in the basic concepts of narrative. Hey, I even took a whole course entitled ‘Narratives and Storytelling’. Lack of knowledge here is not a problem. It’s just that every time I sit down to write, I get character studies and dialogue. Atmosphere and thought processes. Nothing happens. I get vignettes! I don’t write stories, I write moments.
How do you string a series of moments together to create the semblance of action? I’m sure there’s a way. I always think that if you know what your problem is, you can improve. I know that my grand failing is plot or lack there-of, so next time, I might just take the plot from one thing and use my characters to tell the story in an attempt to practice these skills I lack. If you want to be a writer, and you know something about writing, hope is not lost, is it?
We can’t be successful all the time. All I’m really asking for is to be successful some of the time.