January 5th, 2014: Out-plotting

I apologize for the hiatus of several days.  I couldn’t really figure out what to write, I suppose.  I’ve fallen rather in love with a TV show I knew of, previously, but fell in love with over winter break.  It took part of one episode to convince me I was in love with it and, happily, we owned the DVDs.  So, for the last several days I’ve been trying to “out-plot” season 3 of Sherlock.  Yup, that’s me.  I try to undo what the writers do.  I wrote a post about this sometime in October, I think…but I haven’t really touched the subject since.  That time I was talking about how maybe fans should be easier on the writers as they try and sort out what they’re doing, especially on more traditional shows, like Castle, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Elementary (yes, I do watch it!), even Doctor Who.  They all produce more episodes per season and therefore, yes, I do believe there should be some leeway for the writers.  Everyone runs dry on creativity.  
I want to explain, though, why I try to “out-plot” the writers (especially on certain shows).  Predictability is bad, we can all agree on that.  Most shows are character studies, if you love the characters, plot holes will be forgiven.  The thing is, if you can find the plot holes, if you can out-guess the plot-holes, out-think the writers, or at least try to, you learn something.  I’m not a writing major, never have been, never will be.  I am, to the core, a music major, who is having sporadic practice sessions this break (tips are greatly appreciated!)  Obviously, though, I write and I’m learning that I enjoy writing!  In order to write, though, plotting is key.  My plots, typically, are lack-luster.  If you all came into my head and saw my stories in there you’d love them.  They’re fully flushed out and make sense, but the second they get to paper, I lose something.  Always.  Then comes “out-plotting”.
I take characters and plot all in one for this (what’s the character’s motivation for their actions, who are they that they would have this reaction, make this choice), but I also try to get into the writers brain.  Not easy, especially depending on the writer, but worth it.  It makes me plot, it challenges me to see if I’m as good as them.  Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not, but it’s not important.  What is important is that I’m learning to take characters, take a framework, develop them more, in my own head, and then spew out possible plot options.  For me, it’s really fun, but I’m a dork! 😀
Beyond being fun, the best thing about this “game” is that I learn something.  I don’t know if I’ll ever write something more than a few pages long (that isn’t an essay), but I want to.  If I do, this is a great way of learning how.  My mind has always been preoccupied with characters, stories, why characters do what they do, things like that.  If you ever see me walking around like I’m lost in space, just remember, this is what I’m probably doing.  Try it with your favorite show next time.  On a cliff hanger, or before a big cliff hanger just try to out-plot the writers!

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