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Isabel Yap @visyap
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I’ve spent a big part of the year trying to figure out The Secret to Plotting. Then yesterday, at the airport bookstore, I came across this passage in Stephen King’s On Writing.
"Plot is nowhere."
"I distrust plot."
"Stories...pretty much make themselves."

Reading this was such an enormous comfort to me. It seemed to come at such a good time, too - while I'm trying to figure out what to work on next, and how.
In my attempts to Improve Plotting I've felt liked a crazed person running around with a butterfly net and catching nothing. But in this statement I got an alternative: maybe I should just sit down and stick my finger out and see what butterflies alight on it.
I don't mean being completely passive. I mean being curious, and open, and focused enough for the right threads to come floating by. Narratives have their own intuition, and you have to be some degree of peaceful and immersed to let that happen.
Then I realized my favorite author, Diana Wynne-Jones, had said something very similar in an interview (this is from the book The Wand in the Word which I would totally recc):
So - yes. I'm a yarn-gatherer. I've always been a yarn-gatherer. And I've always been kind of sad about it and resistant to it, because it feels slow and murky. Can't the ideas come FASTER? Will I always have to scrape for what's next? Surely there has to be a better way?!
The thing is: I know some of this can be learned and improved upon. People DO learn to work with deadlines, and how to structure longer pieces. Reading, researching, and immersing in other narratives can make the idea "lumps" clump together quicker.
This is also why I like workshops, and discussing process with other writers (or just hearing what works for people). Because there are all kinds of tools that can be helpful to gardners/pantsers like me, so that we're not just helplessly shouting "GROW!" at the seedlings.
But I think I'm also finally embracing the fact that no amount of writing down "Three Act Structures" at the top of a notebook page is going to make me a plotter/architect. AND THAT'S OKAY. This is my process. I just need to keep trying, and fumbling, and working with it.
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