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 photo weasel-1.jpg

Here he is: The Plot Weasel.

You know him well.

Worse, he knows you--and he knows your story.

He plagues you in your sleep. He haunts you when you're awake. Often he's the number one reason you close out your file, sink back in your chair, and think: I can't do this.

He's an insidious dude, often popping up when you least expect it. I mean, you've been hammering out dozens, even hundreds of words a day. You're loving this story. You're on a freaking roll and feel nothing can stop you.

Then it hits you, that niggling feeling, like the tapping of claws or the nibbling of sharp teeth at the base of your spine:


A screw-up in your timeline.

Your main character's voice doesn't sound "right."

The "Z" in your story can't possibly happen because the already-written "X" and "Y" makes that impossible.

You realize a key point you used, based on your own limited knowledge, is totally false; now, what comes after simply doesn't ring true.

One of your favorite scenes/characters/subplots suddenly has no place in your ms; because it kills you to let it go, you waste time and energy trying to make it fit in.

Suddenly your whole manuscript strikes you as a big pile of crap. You're ready to trash the whole thing.

One word: DON'T.

As much as all of us despise the Plot Weasel, he serves a great purpose. He points out the flaws in your story, whether they're massive plot holes or smaller (yet no less important) issues. Yes, we hate him. We hate him because he disrupts the rhythm of our writing. We hate him because he makes us take a critical second or third, sometimes tenth or eleventh, look at our project, when all we really want to do is just finish the story, have people read it and love it, and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

As annoying as the Plot Weasel is, though--can you imagine what terrible writers we'd be without him?

Writers Digest has a great article: 10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems. Check it out!

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You win, FB friends: A "real" weasel.  :)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
lovin' the Plot Possum
it actually might be a better choice than a weasel, lol. At least in my case where the plot has suddenly decided to 'play dead' for a couple of days while I try to decide how to move forward, what is wrong (I never get stuck unless something is wrong), and why I should not be allowed to simply murder all the females in this story for wasting time when what I really want is to get on to the good stuff... hot heroes and swords.
Feb. 26th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
Re: lovin' the Plot Possum
Blood and angst for me! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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