It’s Not Important: Ignore Plot

Plot doesn’t matter.

No, really. It doesn’t.

Write mindless stories. Character A gets out of bed and eats breakfast. The end.

Boring.

Now, the same event, but Character A has an existential crisis after getting out of bed. The fluffy purple rug on the floor reminds them of their grandmother, who’s favorite color was purple. She taught them how to bake. The memory sparks a shift in Character A’s mind and they decide to quit their job and open a bakery.

Perspective changes in an instant. Everyday occurrences combined with the particularities of a moment prompt the shift.

We know what we want. We just don’t believe we are capable of getting it.

Take another possibility with Character A. A blend of chemicals in the brain fire at just the right time, which convinces Character A to have eggs for breakfast instead of heart attack cereal. And that small decision empowers Character A to be healthier. This in turn prompts them to realize they have control over their life, so they finally have the guts to quit their job and start a bakery.

We know what we want. We just don’t believe we are capable of getting it. Not until, like Character A, we have an epiphany over heart attack cereal and purple rugs.

That is the difference between plotless drivel and story. Character A’s desires and values altered ordinary events and set the rest of the story in motion. A story that is not a rote narrative of events, but an intricate look at character growth and development.

Dig deep. What are your characters dissatisfied with? What do they want? What are their insecurities? What do they regret?

These questions will lead to the heart of your story.

The plot will fall into place.

Eventually.

Until it does, keep writing.

Published by Elizabeth Burk

Elizabeth has been writing stories since she was four years old. When not working on her fantasy novel, she plays ukulele and writes anything from satire to musings on the messy, chaotic, and wild side of writing.

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