Maybe the Problems we bump into Make the Plot.

I had a great writing day yesterday, helped largely by knowing where I am going now that I’ve sorted out the Who-Goes-First dilemma I faced earlier this week – Things now are landing nicely, even the spacing between the two catalysts seem to be sorting itself out to the extent that I wonder why I thought I had a problem in the first place.

It’s all perception, of course. When you are looking at a knot, a knot is what you see. I remember facing much larger problems with my first book, with Sevi constantly throwing a spanner in the works, yet looking back, I cannot remember what any specific problem was (except the big one, that I couldn’t get her to fight without killing everybody).

At the time of any issue, with no clear answer immediately to hand, each problem seems insurmountable and therefore ginormous, but once a solution presents itself, the whole concern evaporates and it seems there was only ever one clear path to take.

Naturally enough, this doesn’t help any when you’re sitting there facing a writing dilemma of your own. Yes, true, once you get through the effort and the mental work to sort out that fix you are in, the whole notion of a “problem” lifts and is gone, but at the time it’s still just a tangled mess you see. I can’t really help you with that one, except to say, keep going and it will be worth it.

To my way of thinking, if you’ve got problems because of the twists and turns you’ve put into your story, at least it means you’ve got twists and turns! You’re offering something good and, anyway, no one wants a bland story or they might as well have stayed at home.


The bottom line is, people pick up a book for the adventure it contains. No one wants the Once Upon a Time They Lived Happily Ever After story without a bunch of challenges and problems in between. That’s what we’re all after, seeing how the characters work through the trials of their escapade. So if you, as a writer, have your own writing challenges and problems along the way… well, that’s just part of the process, isn’t it? If we don’t sweat at it, maybe we just haven’t made the challenges for our characters challenging enough. Such events cannot be lightweight, or there is no story.

Another point is, if we see the path clearly and without obstacles, does that mean our readers will see what we’re up to before we surprise them?

I suspect so, but that might be just the way I see it.

How do you see it? It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?


Cheers, everyone! Have a great day.


12 thoughts on “Maybe the Problems we bump into Make the Plot.

  1. Yuna

    Yes, it is, it’s an interesting concept. that what’s a reader looking for, a twisted story; the characters, the problems and how it develops, and how it ends. surprises will be plus plus appraisal 🙂

    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      I agree totally. I love good twists and a few surprises – particularly if they cause problem for the characters. I especially like reading something and I cannot tell how they characters will get out of a fix or solve a problem. So I try to provide that in my own books. It’s fun to do, particularly when I get it right.

      Cheers! 😀

      1. Yuna

        Absolutely Allyson,
        The best part is you enjoy it :). actually both the writer and the reader.

        *greeting from the pleasure seeker, semangat, as always* 😀

        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Oh, I like that. “From the pleasure seeker.” That is a good way to engage life. I shall join you in that title and be a pleasure seeker, too.

          Semangat selalu. 😀

    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      I haven’t tried that! Puts me in mind of a cartoon I saw once of a computer programmer’s flow chart with one box containing the words, “And then a miracle happened.” Sometimes we’re all hanging out for those miracles – I just haven’t tried using one (or God) literally. Thanks for the suggestion. 😀

      1. Rhino House

        I wouldn’t dignify it as a “suggestion” since my expertise in this area is roughly zero; your post just reminded me of something I once heard Iain Banks say.

        I am unworthy……. etc.

        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          LOL. “Lowest of the low” and all that. Never! So, that’s how Iain Banks does it, eh? Or maybe he’s saving that as a failsafe – just to be sure.

  2. writingsprint

    Hell yeah. Problems are opportunities when you choose to look at them that way. Like you said, creative problem solving is one of the best parts of reading any story. The heroes — and villains — have you to help them figure it out.

    From a more writers-blocky perspective, lately what’s given me some really powerful results is to wonder, if I’m that blocked by it, what am ***I*** so bothered about that makes this a hard problem to solve? Maybe I wanted the character to be “a,” and instead they’re “b.” And so on. When I release whatever I was holding on to, usually I get flood of rich description and plots that were all tied up behind it. Good luck!

    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      That sounds brilliant. I love it when something finally works out and frees up a whole heap of other stuff – I always feel like I have leapt forward a huge amount when that happens. You sound like you uncover stuff you didn’t even know was ready to spring out – a real treasure trove! I like that. If you’re like me, you’d get so excited about the new ideas, it gives you a real boost of energy, too, and you end up getting a massive amount done. That’s a win-win-win.



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