Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mindless Plotting

We all have moments when a scene isn't working or the next plot twist isn't moving the story like we wanted it to. So we push away from the keyboard and think. I for one can't do that while sitting in my computer chair staring at the blinking cursor on the screen. I turn to other things.
I have a few hobbies that lend themselves to letting my imagination run wildly about while still accomplishing something. Crocheting is a favorite. I can count, change colors, do multiple stitches without giving it one bit of my conscious attention. Jigsaw puzzles are probably my favorite mindless activity. I have a like-minded sister who lives out of state. For over twenty years we buy each other a jigsaw puzzle for our birthdays. We try to stump each other with an impossible puzzle. We're both very good and haven't managed to defeat each other yet. Even while doing the most difficult, challenging puzzle, I can plan the next scene, the next dialogue and still complete that lovely puzzle.
Mowing the grass at our house takes at least one and a half hours. Riding the lawn tractor is truely a time given to thought. Driving a car is a similar time for reflection but I have to take more care. Yes, last night I drove right past my daughter's hockey field while thinking of the dire situation my protagonists were involved in.
I wonder how other writers let their imagination free. What do they do when they're just stuck? Not with writer's block, but with a simple plot point.


Laurie J. Edwards said...
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Laurie J. Edwards said...

I'm ALWAYS getting lost, driving past exits blissfully unaware of the world around me, as I plot. The minute I get behind the wheel, I'm completely immersed in a fantasy world.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do the same, but usually I have at least one child in the car with me to ask, "Where are you going, Mom?"

Lori M. Myers said...

While I actually enjoy mowing the lawn (yes, I do) I find that I am forced to focus more on sneezing than allowing my subconscience to get in the creative zone. What does the trick for me is walking long distances. I return home with all sorts of stories and ideas. Recently, train travel provided a creative spark and I ended up writing a complete essay before I reached my destination.