The Plot Stick

Megan Hart calls it the “Boom Boom Pow”. I call it “all the stuff that happens when my characters are talking and interacting and having sex  and falling in love”. Whatever you call it, the plot stick whacked me but good at the playground today. Something about sitting in the sun while my kid and a buddy played in the sand…or maybe it was just time. You see, the plot stick got me not for the story I’m revising right now, but for something I roughed out back in…March? April? Somewhere in there the book stopped working so I it set aside in that version and came at the same idea from a different angle. Wrote a different story, and made that work…and oh how I loooooooove how it worked, then dug into a book from two years ago to work up into a proposal and…


I’m a big believer in giving stories space and time. I have no idea why this story, an idea six months old and near and dear to my heart, is starting to resurface now. All I know is the first BOOM, the one I needed to get it going again, hit me last night while I was reading some Shannon McKenna. Add about sixteen hours of gestation time and some utterly mindless housework and I got the full-on BOOMBOOMPOW at the playground. Filled a whole page in my journal with dialogue snippets and ideas and what ifs.

Two weeks ago I felt like I’d never write anything decent again, much less WANT to write anything again, and now I’ve got a proposal all but ready to send to my crit partner and the second draft of something smacking me in the head with a broomstick and the next story, the story I want to write so badly I can taste it but is only in research phase so it’s gonna have to wait a while, 2-3 months, be patient baby, dancing around in my brain.

Awesome. It will pass, of course, just as the dry spells did – write anyway, it’s what you do when you’re a writer, but for now…boomboompow.


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