If IWSG founder Alex J Cavanaugh had not sent me a email reminder for this month’s IWSG post, I would have posted late. IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) founded by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, is a support group for writers, where we talk of our writing insecurities and help and support each other. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.
This is my seventh post for IWSG. In this post I will share one of my writing insecurities- plot envy. While searching for agents, I came across something called high stakes. Practically every agent wanted a story where the stakes were high. Most of them gave the example of Hunger Games.
I interpreted high stakes as the main character having the threat or shadow of death hanging over its head throughout the story. After reading this, I made it a point to buy Hunger Games on Amazon and read the three books in quick succession.
The books ensured that I suffered from heavy bouts of plot envy. As a reader I was so engrossed in Katniss’s story. For a few days I even toyed with my own plot, trying to raise the stakes for my protagonist. But how much ever I tweaked and played around with my plot, I could not get the death threat into the picture. I did manage to raise the stakes, but there was no way there would be a death threat hovering over my main character’s head.
After much agonizing I realized that every plot/story is unique. There is no one size fits all remedy. Just because Suzanne Collins books did well or just because I was unfortunate enough to query the agents who wanted a story with high stakes, was no reason to beat myself over it.
What I could do was write the best story I could and forget about what an agent’s requirement was. Every story and plot is unique and each writer treats his/her story in an individual way. We are not clones of other writers and we should not even try to be. So, far the time being, plot envy has been pushed away.
What about you all? Do you all suffer from plot envy? How do you all manage to keep your envies and insecurities at bay?