Random Acts of Weirdness

I told the Jr. High Writers’ Group today that their stories needed to be non-gory and coherent. Coherent was as upsetting to them as the non-gory part.

“What’s coherent mean?” one of them asked me.

“It means that the protagonist wants something, so she acts to get it. She fails, causing something else to happen. Which she then has to do something about, leading to yet another thing happening.”

“Like, they have to connect somehow?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

They apparently like randomness in plotting. A happens and then B, which has pretty much nothing to do with anything happens. The crazier and less connected things are, the better.

The sad part is, I’m just as bad. After I read a first draft, I often have to admit that a lot cool things happen, great obstacles, real problems, but they are often pretty random. There’s little cause and effect connecting them.

Life in general seems to lack cause and effect, which is one of the reasons we like fiction. A story has to at least make sense.

So, here’s to reading more, and writing more stories, that have a little cause and effect and not so many random acts of plotting.