When you’re writing, it is like following a large and rare creature through the woods. You have to pay attention, and you have to make sure you don’t get lost and/or die by starving or being eaten by violent creatures. It also helps if you have any idea what you’re looking for.
The single biggest problem, across every level of story telling, is subject material. The reader is like a guest paying you, the author, for a hunting experience. They want to be shown a good time and they want to feel smart and excited.
Angela is a brilliant geneticist who turns out to have some surprises going on in her life. And she, of course, always has shit to say, but none of it is very worth listening to. How to make the boring Angela interesting? By stripping her secrets, one by one, in view of the reader.
Angela dressed slowly, getting ready for her new day at work. Her blouse was light blue, and her slacks were eminently professional, and she put her black-rimmed glasses on her face with a very soft sigh, because she had to work on more of the graft design this afternoon and she would rather be sipping tea. Her shoes were black.
Angela studied her figure in the mirror as she adjusted her soft blue blouse. Feminine, but not in any way reproachable. She chewed on her lower lip and wondered if her boss had started to wonder yet.
“Mm,” Angela said, and she examined her backside. She was wearing silk underwear beneath her slacks, both layers sturdy enough to hide the shocking texture beneath. She was immensely looking forward to the inevitable reveal, for she had hidden all her back and ass cheeks in the sex tapes, which she was sure had been seen by her very handsome boss.
“Mm,” Angela said again, her mouth curving with satisfaction. She gave her black-rimmed glasses a little nudge up her surprisingly expensive nose and sauntered out of her tiny room, her kitten heels making little tap-tap clicks against the industrial gray flooring.
When you follow exciting creatures, of which your plot is one, track spoor. That means you have to be picking up bits and pieces of what is coming next and following a live, moving animal. Wandering aimlessly around woods is not hunting.
Following a cold trail or walking through a lot of bushes where animals don’t live will not making for excellent plotting. Fixing your mind on the elusive creature of an excellent plot and tracking said creature with attention and close, hunter-like detail, will lead to an exciting experience for the reader. Plus, it’s fun to write good material.
You’re reading Victor Poole, and it smells like Christmas in my house. The grey cat, Rose, has inherited a very large cardboard box, and is at peace with the universe.