I've been giving this a lot of thought lately, the organic plot. How do we keep the plot organic to the character?
Have you ever read a book and there's a twist thrown in just for the shock factor and it doesn't feel right? Or you discover something about a character that is only revealed because of the plot--and it feels like the writer put it in just to justify an action?
I've quit reading books when this happens. I was a huge Alex Cross fan in the beginning. And then James Patterson turned FBI agent, Kyle Craig into the Mastermind--and there was no lead-up, no logical reason why and I haven't read a Patterson book since. Yeah, I know he's wiping his eyes right now with a $100 bill. But as a reader (and supporter, I bought his books in hardback), I felt betrayed. For me, he jumped the shark.
I was a huge fan of Glee when it premiered.
I couldn't convince enough people to watch it. And I still love that first season.
But something happened between the first and second season--it got popular. Music artists flooded the producers with their music.
"Do mine," said Madonna, Elton, and Britney. "Use whatever you want from my catalog."
And instead of staying true to the characters, the writers started writing plots to match the music--even if it didn't work. They lost their heart--which is why I started watching.
I still watch--it's one of Jordan's faves. Plus, to be honest, I watch to see Darren Criss perform. But for the most part I don't enjoy the show as much. Every one in five or seven episodes, they'll have one that reminds me of why I fell in love that first season, but those are far and few between and I'm always let down the following week when they go back to being average.
When an agent suggested that I needed a bigger plot for Bix, I had to find one that felt like it belonged in the book--belonged to that character.
I'd been playing around with an idea for the sequel--making the town of Cypher a training field for teenage agents. Kind of like the Federal Marshals meet Jump Street. So, when I went back to the writing board, that was where I started. Had I not already been considering that plot, it may not have felt organic but since I'd planted a few seeds to begin with, it grew to become the plot.
Do you ever struggle with the plot organic--either writing it or reading it?