Flake-out Friday–Best Laid Plans

Whether you’re a panster or an outliner, unexpected plot issues can arise.

It can feel something like this:

funny pictures - They had never met a seal that knew kung-fu, and hoped this would be the last time they did.

Now, people respond differently to unexpected things. Some take it in stride and try to work it out. Others, well, get revenge:

funny pictures - Frank's owner awoke the next morning to find his fingers superglued to the inside of his nostrils.

How do you handle unexpected plot issues?


20 comments on “Flake-out Friday–Best Laid Plans

  1. ciara knight says:

    Take a deep breath and dig deeper. It’s all about staying productive and not giving into the sanity. 🙂
    Happy Friday, Laura!

  2. vixter2010 says:

    Haha good photos. I think just go with the flow and not worry about trying things out and then changing them sometimes the best things are unplanned. Happy Friday 🙂

  3. Vicki Tremper says:

    I find a quiet place where I can talk to myself out loud and I talk myself through it. Somehow, I think out loud better than inside my head.

  4. Lynn Rush says:

    LOL!!! Nice pictures!

    Unexpected plot issues? Those aren’t fun, but I try and write through them, noting my concerns, usually it’ll work itself out as I write the story. Then, I can go back and tweak what didn’t work.

    Like this one. I had something contingent on a certain age, but right around 40,000 words, I realized that’s not going to work. Made a note on what I need to change, and kept writing with the “fix” in mind.


  5. Stephanie McGee says:

    LOL. Those are great. Unexpected plot issues? I look at the conversations that precede and follow, no matter the word count distance, to see if it’s simply a matter of forgetting a detail or if it’s a larger issue that’s going to take a lot more effort to fix.

  6. Unexpected plot issues are easy to work through, because usually if it’s unexpected then the characters led me there for a reason. I know at that point that I’m no longer in control of my story and that my characters are finally speaking to me.

    Too me its a glorious thing except when it leads to a dead end, because characters aren’t flawless by any means. If that happens than I know I have to cut and copy that section to my “Deleted stuff” document incase I find a place for it later. Otherwise my character’s feelings could be hurt.

  7. I enjoyed your two examples of plot discrepancies. I laughed. I like to laugh. Thank you.

    When I began to look objectively at my MS after writing the first draft, I discovered plot errors that involved time sequence issues. I cut whole chapters and pasted them where they belonged. Cool, I thought! Fixed! No, like any major surgery, there were some dandy scars that needed plastic surgery after that. Ha!

    It was a daunting task to make sure all those sequence problems were solved. I wonder why it was so hard for me to find and fix them when, in fact, a reader would have seen them immediately, or at least, would have been confused by them. Blessings to you, Laura…

  8. Akoss says:

    I “flex” and then try to go with the flow. If I dare try to fight it, then the “writer block” comes into play. So yeah, just go with the flow. 🙂
    Oh and I used to be a plotter, but now I’m trying to do half and half.

  9. Lydia K says:

    Unfortunately, unexpected plots holes happen all the time to me! First, I whimper. Then I plan. Then I excecute the plan. Though, it often takes a while to go through the whole process!

  10. Misha says:

    Lol hahahahahahaha oooohhh… yeah. Plot issues humorized.

    I’d like to hope that I’m more like the cat. 😉

  11. Shelley Batt says:

    I enjoyed this post. Funny. I actually posted about this today myself. I’ve worked and worked and worked and now I’m so frustrated and need a break to clear my head.

  12. Linda Gray says:

    Those photos are hilarious! Thanks. Like Lydia, I whimper first. Then shake myself out of THAT immediately. Remind myself that top agents and editors often say you can make your ms. a LOT better by shaking things up. Do the unexpected. Add strange twists. The challenge is getting the character to handle this stuff authentically, so that she grows with it.

  13. I let myself sit with for a while until I figure out a way to make the book work. Sometimes this means working it in, and sometimes it means throwing that part out.

  14. Mike says:

    I loved the lolcats and the bears.

  15. Usually, I read over the latest scenes a few times and maybe any other major parts that added to this plot twist. Then, I act it out. I read the dialog in the charcters voices and move around my room so that I can mimic what they’ve done and see what’s natural. Finally, I think “knowing all this, what would I do from here if I was in their position and what would their character types do.”

    ❤ Gina Blechman

  16. Talli Roland says:

    By tearing my hair out, drinking, screaming, and then taking a deep breath and trying to sit down and sort it out!

  17. Madeleine says:

    Great photos. Made me chuckle :O)

  18. e6n1 says:

    Draw a huuuge timeline and diagram. And then bang myself on the forehead for the oversight/s.

    Seriously though, it’s better to encounter issues early in the writing process than later.

  19. onceupona says:

    Cute post. I’m always reading and rereading, editing as I go. I have my documents open and check on facts, hopefully, before they trip me up too terribly. At least I hope… Cheers! Danette http://conch-to-be.blogspot.com/

  20. I’m laughing too hard to come up with an answer. I take unexpect plot issues in stride. No point freaking out at them. 😉

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