So I see a lot of advice to writers on the ‘net.
Understandable, obviously, and there’s a lot of good stuff out there. But something I keep seeing and that disturbs me is this: the emphasis on plot. More precisely, the emphasis on plot that can be broken down to a 3 or 5 or 8 step path of crisis and catharsis. I mean, it works, to an extent. But if you work with formula, you get formulaic. Me, I side with Stephen King on this one. (I know, right? But the man does know a thing or two about a thing or two.)
Fuck plot. Give me a god damned story.
I see this as a similar issue to learning poetic forms. You can write a beautiful poem using a traditional form—you can also write a lot of hackneyed boring poems. But only by really understanding how the forms work can you write true “free verse” with precision and skill.
I’m sure a lot of people present this advice as an unbreakable rule, which is stupid. No rule is unbreakable. Some are just plain stupid in and of themselves, but some are a valuable framework—learn them so that when you deviate from them, you do so with purpose.
I’m just gonna go on and apply this to visual art as well, because I think it makes my old teachers mad somewhere.
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