Why? Why? Why? The why behind my plot.

Why? Why? Why? The why behind my plot.

Many years ago I was identified as a possible Public Service leader of the future. Well, it didn’t pan out, but for a year the government did pay for me to have a personal mentor. This man taught me a lot about leadership and motivating people. One of the big lessons revolved around “why?”. Why should your staff care? Why should your bosses care? Why should your customers give a damn? Why? Why? Why?

Anyway, I started reviewing my novel’s first draft and thinking about the feedback from my beta readers. The question “why?” kept coming back. Why should the readers care? Why were the characters doing what they were doing? Why were the bad guys necessarily bad? Why? Why? Why?

So I spent a lot of time thinking. What was actually going on?

Initially it had simply been a coming of age tale. Then, about a third of the way through, it morphed into a sinister plot by an ancient demon. Another few chapters a lame imitation of a Lovecraftian story started to emerge with a “Forbidden Planet” veneer. Argh!

OK. I’ve stepped back and rewritten the story synopsis: Two Eldritch forces collide, in the process isolating the people of Shade and threatening their very existence. It is up to a diverse group of magic users and spirits to solve the mysteries surrounding ancient Annihilations and so save Shade from extinction.

Ah ha! The answer to why.

So I opened up a new project in Scrivener and started adding some of my existing writing and reframing it according to this scenario. Wow. It’s actually starting to make sense as a story. Sometimes I have had to cut pieces and other times I have added “place holders” ( my word for a scene where I’ve written the idea but nothing else).

Direction! Yippee!

Anyway, thanks for reading what is essentially a post to myself.

As a bit of writing inspiration I point you at another blogger whose words about writing spoke to me today: Write Your Book, Or You’ll Die Alone and Be Forgotten When You’re Gone (and your files will be erased by strangers).

Look after yourselves.

Greg

 

2 Comments


  1. So, when it comes to government….. why should we care? Why should govt people care? (I find a lot that don’t, it seems to be a job requirement…….)


    1. I think that there are a few different levels to this questions, the two most obvious being caring about their work in general and caring about specific aspects/policies/procedures of their job.

      Having worked in both the private and public sectors, I find an equal amount of passion and apathy spread across both sectors at a general work level. I have certainly found dynamic people in both. This said, I do find lower rewards in public sector careers together with stricter rules/red-tape and harsher punishments. I have watched keen public servants drift into apathy over years of banging their heads against red-tape that handicaps them in their duties. In private enterprise I have also worked with some amazingly deceitful individuals (unsurprisingly, many in sales).

      All this aside, why should any worker care about their job? As far as I am concerned it is because your job is your responsibility and how you perform it reflects you and your values. Obviously, if I was in a room full of my staff trying to convince them I would probably use a lot more compelling language, but essentially this is what I believe.

      In respect to why they should care about specific initiatives/policies/procedures… well that depends on the specific details, so I cannot really provide a generic answer.

      Personally it saddens me whenever I see someone without at least some degree of passion for what they do. I also believe that government is important – for the people, by the people etc. Government workers should be making life better for their customers, the people of the state/nation. I can say, hand on heart, that I always think about the contribution my work makes to the country.

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