Plotting and Peeling Onions

By Crymsyn Hart

The smell of burnt toast has cleared. The walls of the writer’s block have tumbled away. All of the characters who have been kept prisoner behind the barriers are finally running rampant in my mind. Voices are screaming in my head for some release. The good thing about this is all the ghosts and vampires are now free to be themselves again. Of course, they have been peeling away many of their layers these past few days and comparing themselves to that of an onion. It is rather annoying, but then again, I have been doing a lot of cooking these past few days in regards to both plotting and actually being in the kitchen since the day job has gone away for now.

Ideas strike me these days now that my mind is open to not having a day job. I find myself writing many of them on my blackberry between traffic stops or when I wake up in the middle of the night. Dreams are wonderful for great plotting tools. I’ve written some of the best things from my dreams. Other times I’ll be watching a movie and something about it strikes me then it starts to take root in my brain. The characters come to life and the plot begins to branch out. Soon smaller branches become subplots. Those subplots touch upon other characters and then they begin to take over the whole story sometimes tugging it away from me. I hate it when the characters do that, but this post isn’t about that.

Others have many different ways of how they deal with keeping their plots straight. They write down exactly what will happen and where they want their story to go. Others fly by the seat of their pants and write what comes as they write. I go between both these days. I used to just write as I went along, the characters leading me down the paths of their lives, but lately, I have started to record how I want my stories to go. Making me the master of my characters destinies. So that brings us back to the onion analogy.

I’m peeling back the layers of the plots I have circling, discovering more about the characters. The latest outline of story I’m working on has been written down, and the characters are struggling against it already. I guess they don’t like the smell of onions. Oh well, they might not like it, but they have to live with it. I do.
If you find yourself with your own onion, struggling with the plot that your characters are running away with. You have to peel another layer away and if that makes your characters cry, oh well. Sometimes you have to get the plot out the way you want and it doesn’t matter what anyone else in your head says.

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