plot - plan, map, chart, devise, construct
In a sentence: "We must plot our escape tonight."
Imagine your life as an unfinished map. X marks the spot - you - wherever you are at this moment in time. Behind you...roads, rivers and routes paved by the choices you have made. Buildings representing destinations visited and achievements constructed. Lakes representing volumes of acquired experiences and knowledge. All that has been drawn in the past influences all paths leading toward the future. Before you there is blank, empty space. Like a story being told, a choose-your-own-adventure or a Mad Lib with lines yet to be filled in, the capacity to pretty much go anywhere, be anyone, do anything.
This is how writing is like living. Each sentence on the preceding page must connect to the present and future. And there is structure in that which some find restricting. I cannot go here when I have come from there. I cannot do this because I have yet to do that. Writer's block. Yes, there are rules in writing and in life that may block you from where you want to go, be, do. But ultimately you are the writer. You're the only person who can write that next word, sentence or paragraph and allow your story to unfold.
Rules are funny animals. You feel responsible for following them. You feel like you're being a responsible person when you follow them. All without knowing who has created them. There's only one rule: You are responsible for the truth of your tale, fiction or nonfiction. You get to choose what happens next. Or you could just leave the page empty.
• Exercise for writers - Write 5 plot point sentences in order of occurrence, rearrange them, then write this story.