An about-turn over plotting

I’m giddy with ecstasy. How could I have ever thought that I hated plotting? I adore plotting; I plot with ease; I might even be good at plotting.

I made a resolution some months ago to open myself up to the dangers of imperfection and write without a plan. That worked decently for a while, albeit with a few stutters here and there because, of course, I could never truly stop organising. Today, though, my forced carelessness gave me the first sweet taste of genuine success. I can now plot.

I thought I hated plotting—plotting, I thought, was more akin to working with numbers or lines than emotion and was a job for some careful cartographer drawing a map, not a fun-loving, book-reading woman. I was wrong. Plotting is no more than thinking about the things I want to think about—flawed characters, addictive emotions, and conclusions that don’t entirely conclude—and then waiting for one of my literary toys to nudge me into jotting down a plot point. I swear, by the gods of literature, that’s all it is.

I feel invincible! I was so silly and wrong to try to plot without thinking about things which make me happy. Previously, I tried to ask myself logical questions (who, where, when, and why) and devise rational answers; I justified this method by telling myself that a plot is a timeline of events, and events are always triggered by questions. What a bizarre, pseudo-scientific, non-literary idea. Plots are fiction, and fiction runs on human passion and whimsy.

I haven’t felt so invigorated all year. I am not only writing but am close to knowing what I am writing. Excellent work. Carry on.

PS I can’t believe it took me nearly a year to get here. Better late than never, I suppose.

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