As a writer I often sit down with a bunch of ideas, happily bimbling along and sooner or later I think, ‘I suppose right about now something ought to happen. Oh no. Must something happen? Must there be some sort of plot?’ Meanwhile JK Rowling has sketched out her first novel, sorted out several plot twists and connected them to the further six novels she has in the pipeline. See, plot is the one thing that doesn’t come naturally to me. Ideas, concepts, conceits, dialogue, description, word-play – they all trip off the pen. But ask me to make something happen – that’s a different story.
But! the plot I have in mind today is of an altogether different sort. It is the beloved plot, the blessed rod, pole or perch of land which I call my garden. And at the bottom of it, where there was once a tangle of nettles, I have now planted some poppy-seeds and covered the bed with mulch. And it looks lovely. Even more satisfyingly, I made the mulch myself out of shredded branches and hedge-clippings.
So who cares about narrative? While I have my poetry and my garden, I’m happy. And JK Rowling can be queen of the plot.