The Plot is Both Easy & Hard

Where should I start? When does it end?

Boom. There’s the hardest part about telling a story for me. It’s by no means the only thing I find difficult about the job, but it’s incredibly difficult to look at the tangle of a plot and find the right place to start. Too soon, and it’s impossible to get sucked into the story. Too late, and the reader flounders for a hold on the story.

Then there’s wrapping it all up. Not every subplot can be tied up in a bow, but there needs to be a feel of completion. It can’t be too abrupt, but you don’t want to end the story four times. You also don’t want to drag the story out too long. If the antagonist has been defeated, the couple reunited, then the story can’t go on for another 100 pages just because you like the world.

If we’re going for the easiest, its when the story just moves. There are highs and lows in the process, but there’s definitely a middle point when I’m just flying on the whole thing. I’m in love with the process at this point, when plot points are hooking together and  characters are exploding formed and expressive on the page. It’s the artsy part of writing.

There’s minutiae of writing that can be difficult. Finding the time is a pain. Pushing through the parts that don’t flow sucks. Sometimes the story gets boring. Sometimes the story is wholly useless.

But the plot. Managing the plot is both the hardest and the easiest part of being a writer.

Ashley M. Hill found her voice in science fiction when her curiosity about technology coupled with the lifelong urge to tell stories. Her interest in social and feminist issues shapes how she approaches the genre. She's pursuing computer and network repair for her day job.

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