I’m reading a great book that I think is a must read for those who love to write. The book is Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. She wrote the book after years of writing and teaching the how to’s of writing in workshops and community colleges.
Lamott’s style is informal, hilarious, and inspiring. She has one chapter on how to create and develop plot. Surprisingly, her approach is to forget about plot. Instead of obsessing about the big picture, Anne says focus on a few characters. Get to know a few of the main characters. Describe them in detail. Anne says as you build a relationship with a few characters the plot will suddenly appear.
Lamott writes, “If you focus on who the people in your story are, if you sit and write about two people you know and are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen…The development of relationship creates plot.”
Wow! That last sentence in the quote is powerful. Plot comes out of relationship.
Apply this now to life. Ever wonder what your future holds? Ever tried to see the vision more clearly? Ever been discouraged with the fuzziness of the future, wondering where your place is? Questioning your unique contribution in life? Ever wondered about the plot of your life?
Your plot will develop out of the relationships in your life. Remember, you’re writing a story – the story of your life. God has sovereignly brought people into your life. Who are those important relationships? Forget your obsession over plot for a moment and think again about those people. If you’ll focus on knowing and growing the important, positive people in your story, day by day, your plot will come into focus. God works through relationship.
Cherish the important relationships in your life. Jesus said this in Mark 12:30-31 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”