I love writing. It makes me happy. Or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself. And it's not a lie. Writing, the actual writing part, does make me happy! It's the plotting that proves to be very frustrating, most of the time.
I don't know what it is, but plotting, at least for me, is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort for me to commit to a plot line. And even once I have committed, I'm still never completely satisfied.
So, last week, post plotting meltdown (I'm not kidding. I do actually have those... weekly), I was surfing one of my favorite authors' website for little nuggets of authorly wisdom, and actually, that's exactly what I found.
Here's one little nugget (of many) from the New Moon Outtakes page on Stephenie Meyer's website:
New Moon Outtakes
Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-browed night;
Give me my Romeo; and, when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night...
—Romeo and Juliet Act III scene ii
"This quote was the original epigraph for New Moon. Why did it change? As I spent more time with the book, I decided I wanted the epigraph to be more representative of danger and potential heartbreak. Though this quote also has some nice foreshadowing, I had to choose—the romance or the warning? I went with the warning.
That's how outtakes are made—choosing one storyline over the other, exploring a direction that doesn't quite end up where you want it to, adding something new that makes another piece obsolete.
Of course, these are all rough pieces and it's really embarrassing to let people see them. I'm enduring the shame for three reasons. Firstly, humility is a virtue. Secondly, people loved the Twilight Outtakes so much, and I'm afraid they'll hurt me if I don't give them more. And finally (this is the real one), so many of you are writers, too. I think outtakes are most interesting from a writer's perspective. I'm hoping these might help some of you who are just getting started to be able to make sense of the editing process, and to be more ruthless self-editors. (Just because you love something doesn't mean it should stay in.)"--Stephenie Meyer.com
What can I say? The words in pink really spoke to me. They inspired and brought forth the realization that: My plot doesn't have to be perfect the first time around, or even the second. The outcome of my story may even be different than originally intended--through exploration of different plot possibilities--and that's okay! (One of my biggest problems is that, often, I try to push my preconceived notions of what I think the story should be that I never give it a chance to unfold naturally. This is a big problem that I am working to correct.)
Those few lines, for whatever reason, really comforted me. Now, will I remember all of this next week when I'm in full-on meltdown mode--umm... probably not! But still, there's something to be said about perusing your favorite author's website. Apparently it's more than just a great way to procrastinate. Yay!
So, my question is: How do you feel about plotting? Does it come easy, or the exact opposite? And, how do you work through your plotting frustrations?
Have a great day, everyone!