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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Plot Thickens

I'm back. My coauthor is taking a nap because her son just left yesterday for two years and she's been crying. So this is my chance to get on the computer and write.

I've been thinking about plots lately. Lots and lots of plots. Why? Because I've gotten so good at making good plots, natch.

I want to share a story about an art teacher (who must have had a cute little dog feeding him inspiration) who decided to try an experiment. On the first day of class, he divided the class down the middle. The right side of the room would get graded on the quantity of pots, something like 50 pounds of pots would earn an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. The left side of the room only had to make one pot--but it had to be perfect. So the class got busy, the right side throwing pots like crazy, the left side designing the perfect pot and studying how to make it just right.

The quantity-versus-quality experiment. On the last day of class, the teacher brought in a set of scales. To his surprise, he found that the best pots were not made by the students who had simply studied how to make pots. They were thrown by the students who had been actually making lots of pots, pounds and pounds of pots, who were forced to learn as they went.

This applies to books, too. Think quantity plots versus quality plots. The way to achieve quality plots is to increase your quantity of plots. You can study and take classes and attend workshops and conferences for years, but you will learn the most when you actually begin to work. It's true. Writers write. Regularly. Ruff said.

It applies to dogs, too. If you study how to be cute, it helps a little. But if you just start being cute, day after day, you gets treats.

Hey, this is good stuff. You should all send me one doggy biscuit (beef flavored is best) or a can of tuna. I have a can opener and a human who knows how to use it.

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