I have a nasty habit of just getting on my laptop, bringing up a random Microsoft page, and starting to haphazardly click away at my keyboard without a goal in sight.
The result has consistently been long-winded stories with no plotlines, little characterization, and pathetic dialogue. Things tend to drag out, end poorly, and any identity that accidentally escapes into my characters is inconsistent and repellent.
But, that means things have been learned. Trial and error are a writer's best friend. By traveling the unbeaten road, I found out I still need a destination.
The next step is now figuring out how I am to plan my adventures. Things like to be sporadic for me, life included. Nothing ever does what its supposed to (unless I don't expect it to) and every character I have ever written has promptly turned to me, rolled their eyes, and then given me a ten-page lecture on who they actually are and how I must write it.
Some come with written bios.
But none of them ever told me how their story was to go. They never spilled out what they wanted to accomplish and how. Never tapped their fingers on a map and glanced at their watches when I was late at getting them to expedition corner.
I am horrible at seeing the big picture. The point, the purpose, the meaning, the clincher. Whatever you want to call it, I am horrible at plotting it into my own books until I have at least a hundred pages written out of characters scrambling randomly and most times madly in and out of bizarre circumstances and even stranger one-page visitors.
I can see it in other books. In fact, I get a kick out of predicting the purpose behind a book. I never read one without readying myself to do battle with the author's attempt to sneak the moral behind my back. But how am I to plan one myself, and make it ring true and feel real? I get stuck. Mentally. Sometime physically.
So, my goal is to figure it out. This is my challenge and I mean to solve it. Maybe I need to literally write it all out in a 60 pointer outline. Or maybe I just need to talk to my characters more and actually listen to them instead of ranting about how they should be. Or maybe I just need to sit back, relax my itching fingers a moment, and don't type anything until I know where I am going.
What about you guys?
Do any of you struggle with this?
What do your plotlines look like?
Do you know where your story is going before you start writing?
How do you come up with the "moral" or "meaning" behind your book?
Does it come out at once?
Or do you wait until later to figure it out?