Plot

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

The character may be what we care about, but the plot is what makes us care.  It is through ACTION that the story is revealed.

Something has to happen that keeps us interested.  A story isn’t about an ordinary day, week or year.  It is about an EXTRAordinary day, week or year.

A plot (the story) is made up of conflicts (problems).  A character wants something he can’t have because of the problem.  Is it because of what is going on around him? Or is it because he is unable to do it?  You’re the writer, what do you want it to be?

Once you have brought the problem out in the open, the next thing to do is to make the character try and solve it.  But there should be a whole bunch of little problems to solve along the way.  Try the “What If…” route.  For example, what if the character falls and breaks his arm, then what if he has to run away from something, and then what if he finds and old bike to make his getaway…. And so on.  This can produce some great ideas.

boyNever make solving the problem easy.

Think about solving the problem in different ways.  Write them down and see where it takes you.

A good example of some “up” and “downs” is the story of Cinderella.

Her life is miserable, then she is invited to the ball, but she has nothing to wear.  She makes a dress herself, and then the sisters tear it up.  She is given chores to do while everyone goes to the ball, but a Fairy Godmother comes and helps her get there.  She meets the prince and falls in love, but the clock strikes twelve and she has to go.  The Prince searches for her and the shoe fits! Yikes what a roller coaster ride, up and down, up and down.

Every writer works differently.  Some outline the whole story, including all the problems and solutions.  Some create and solve the problems as they go along.

Which one are you?  Try them both.  I bet you will come up with a great roller coaster ride of your own.

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