Learning to plot – a writer’s quest


So I am at a virtual stand still as I realise my major writing hurdle is learning to plot. Time to build some stairs, or a ladder of string.

I recently managed to finish one picture book and send it off.  One of the things mentioned in critiques was redoing the plot line to introduce some things into the story earlier, to invest the reader in the character, clarifying aspects of the ending, and making some aspect of the plot in the middle even more believable. I reworked it, and in the end was happy with the plot line.  This picture book came from a poem that was without any sense of strong plot, mostly emotion, but the reworking required me to be very thoughtful about the plot.

Going back to the drawing board for some of the other picture books, unfinished short stories, memoirs and novel I am stumped as the plotting problems started yelling at me! ‘Sort me out!’

As a poet for many years I loved writing emotions, memories, and setting, looking back I seldom consciously explored plots.

At the moment I am creating character poems and realise this particular poetic series is in search of a plot line. It is different from the poetry I wrote before. It may even be a fledgling novel.  This is a good challenge and I will find the journey forward by plotting.

In more recent years I took up writing memory stories, and reflecting on current events around me.

When writing memory stories, the plot is already there, life as it happens, with some added structure, a strong sense of setting and place and sometimes a charming or a challenging outcome. There may even be some twists.

Reflections don’t seem to require a plot line, but if they do have one it strengthens them for the reader making the journey through the reflection or meditation.

But to connect all these memory stories into a memoir, I find myself considering a central plot line with subplots, something to help a reader navigate my life in a way that makes sense.

Sometimes I luck upon my plot line in anecdotes that just came naturally off the pen. The ingredients of the narrative are there, but this haphazard lucking on the plot line just isn’t going to wash it.

In short stories I often create characters and setting that I love and have several half begun short stories I long to finish, but I need the plot to propel them into fully blown novels, and compelling short stories.

I am determined to write some outlines and overcome my plotting deficit. This is going to require, reading, analysis, and practice.

So today I heed Kiki Sullivan’ s plot outline advice and I am going to build a bridge, or is it a sledge hammer to break through my writing hurdle.  I need to read some of my favourite books that plot beautifully and learn from some masters.

Time for this rambling writer to find her story line and polish the stories just as she wants to!

Any advice, or links, please leave them in the comments !

(c) June Perkins

Jackson Wheeler


Continuing Miranda’s Story I swap to Jackson Wheeler’s perspective at the time of the loss of their child

Originally posted on Ripple Poetry:

Flying in the Wild

Flight – June Perkins

The day we lost our child
I had a dream
of her possible future
with us.

I wanted to comfort Miranda
to share her sorrow
to take our first steps

I couldn’t tell her about
the dream
of our future

I looked at her
unable to see
where to begin
except without words.

Our little one
lost her spin of life’s wheel
she would never
take first steps
with us.

Only in dreams
would we be together
life forever

My heart like a brahminy kite
flew away to the calls of
our daughter and Miranda
wanting to land
we could all take
mortal frames

to be a family
once more.

I knew we would
have to settle on
name for the one
who took her flight first.

(c) June Perkins

In this poem Jackson Wheeler speaks of the loss…

View original 15 more words

Studying Laneways – Brisbane


Just sharing some more of my daughter’s art reflections – here she went exploring Brisbane with her art and design class – project Laneways.

Originally posted on Zedetta:

Some laneways have reflections to add interest
Some laneways have a little bit of art in them.
Interesting things on walls...
June Perkins's photo.
Other lane ways look messy, but you can still photograph them in an interesting way.
A lane way that could do with some redesign
Some laneways are simple and clean, but perhaps something could add interest?
Perhaps a small touch like this.
Small touches of art
Some laneways have something to make you think later
(c) Zedetta Art

View original

Pollination – October 10th 2014

Kaitlyn performing her poetry

“POLLINATION was an exhibition that explored the powers and potentialities associated with springtime: both in the natural world and in the realm of  hearts and minds. The exhibition showcased individual and collaborative works by five creatives:”

1. Temily -  a visual artist whose work draws on a richness of experiences from living in numerous communities throughout the world (including recent travels around Queensland).

Temily with young fan – Kaitlyn in background posting about the exhibition on line ;)

2. Minaira Fifita -  a visual and performing artist whose artwork is grounded in her Polynesian and Celtic roots and nurtured by her faith in the unity and diversity of human relationships and it’s connection to the environment.

3. Sheida Vazir-Zadeh –  an Iranian writer raised in Australia who is currently exploring how the art of filmmaking can be used as a tool for the empowerment of young people.

Some of the Crowd – totally packed!

4. Kaitlyn Plyley –  an American-Australian spoken word artist, broadcaster and writer whose solo show ‘Not Much To Tell You’ appeared at the 2014 Queensland Poetry Festival.

5. Ruha Fifita - is a visual and performing artist of Tongan/European descent whose work reflects on nature and the physical environment, exploring the insights it offers into processes framing mankind’s spiritual and material progress.

(From the Exhibition Facebook Information Page.)

It was an amazing night full of energy, vibrance, colour and joy. People were packed into every spare piece of available floor, and overflowing out onto the streets.

There was music, dancing, poetry – and lots of people mingling to celebrate the themes of the art exhibition.

The exhibition spaced was provided by Box Vintage.

Ruha performing

For more photographs of  click  Pollination