OPP (Other People’s Plots)
I’ve spent a LOT of time recently critiquing my Writer Friends’ Works of Genius, and — while part of me thinks I should have been writing my own next Work of Genius — most of me knows it’s been time well spent. Every time I critique someone else’s manuscript, I get the chance to really read like a writer. When you do that — especially with an unpublished manuscript, that hasn’t been picked apart a billion times by professional editors — you learn something about what works and what doesn’t in your genre.
Recently, I’ve come to realize that I am surrounded by Writer Friends who have amazing Voice. Voice… Glorious Voice! Sure, the plotting and pacing may not be exactly perfect… but the Voice! Ah! Sing to me, my Children of the Night!
Um, back to the point. Lack of Voice has never been my issue. Like most pantsers (I’m a recovering pantser, actually. I’ve started plotting things out, after chucking enough manuscripts into the bin because of poorly-conceived and executed plots.), my issues are motivation… and plot.
So, I read this excellent article recently. I went to quite a few talks (local SCBWI meetings, etc.). And then I realized all those experts might actually know something. (I hate it when that happens.) All of a sudden, I’m not just reading my Writer Friends’ manuscripts with an eye for pacing and plot – I’m reading everything that way. I think — I hope — that by doing this now, in my in-between-new-novel time — I will be able to avoid a lot of the familiar sinkholes where I usually end up wallowing in my early draft days. So, I’ve decided that yes. Even though I hate slowing down to pick apart the books I’m reading, it’s a necessary step to making my work better.
Yes, I am down with OPP.
So, here’s my question:
You down with OPP?
PS – In other news, I’m working on two short fic pieces – one juvenile, one adult — and researching like mad for the new WIP. Once school starts, I’m going to hit the ground running. Woot! Who wants to read my oh-so-well-plotted first draft in November? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? LOL