(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
I’m finally starting. Just spent tonight procrastinating like always. It doesn’t feel the same because now I’m doing it at the end of a work day, but I just don’t have the energy for much. I have to make the energy, though. Tonight was OK. I didn’t watch a ton of TV. This seems to be the season when my TV goes to crap. White Collar and British shows written by Steven Moffatt are all that’s worthwhile anymore. There isn’t even anything written by David Simon I want to watch. It’s sad, but at the same time, it’s all right. It’s a chance to work on my own writing. It’s a chance to finally write a novel. A bit late, maybe, but only because I needed the practice, I guess. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I’m still not exactly there. I still need some rambling to get this idea set, but that’s what 750 words is for, right?
Shakespeare got away with such flimsy plots, but it’s what I have the most trouble with. Because I can see where everything’s going. And it all seems obvious to me. I don’t want it to be obvious, but I don’t understand how readers won’t see it coming a mile away. They won’t, and I need to be confident in that. That’s not to say that I think readers are stupid, but fiction is written to carry people along. The most they feel immersed, the less likely they are to see plot.
It’s like editing: if you notice it, the editor hasn’t been doing her job. It has to be invisible. Just like plot. A reader can’t suspect a writer of setting things up too neatly or too far ahead. They shouldn’t see the clues as you drop them. They shouldn’t see it coming, except maybe just before it comes. But I can’t even come up with a basic plot. Well, that’s not true, I did come up with a bad plot.